This is a somewhat lighter version than what you usually find in restaurants. Feel free to use your favorite brand of store bought tomato sauce, although this one is easy, tasty, and only takes about 30 minutes to come together. You can make it while you're cooking the chicken. To make it even healthier, you can bake the chicken breasts on a greased sheet pan for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. If you are cooking the chicken in a skillet, place each piece on a wire rack over a cookie sheet as they finish cooking. This will prevent the bottom from getting soggy. No one likes a soggy bottom.
For the tomato sauce:
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped in small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
pinch of chili flakes
salt and pepper
Sautée onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes until pale golden, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add chili flakes and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. You can add a splash of red wine or water if it starts to get too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more chili flakes if you like it spicy.
For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened or butterflied*
1/4 c milk
1 c breadcrumbs (regular, whole wheat, Italian, panko or panko Italian all work well)
salt and pepper
2-3 Tbs canola or vegetable oil
8 oz fresh mozzarella ball, sliced in to 6 circles
hand full of fresh basil
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put the breadcrumbs in a wide bowl. Dip the chicken breasts in the egg and milk mixture, then in breadcrumbs, turning to coat thoroughly. Heat oil in large skillet. Once hot, add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden and cooked through. If you're not sure, cut into a breast to check for doneness. Once cooked transfer to wire rack over a cookie sheet. Lightly salt and pepper breasts. Top each breast with a big spoonful of tomato sauce and a slice of cheese. Place tray in oven and cook about 5 minutes or until cheese starts to melt.
Serve chicken with the rest of the tomato sauce and fresh basil.
*To flatten the chicken, place a chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a food storage bag. Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin, pound gently until uniform in thickness. You can also buy thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets or slice the breasts horizontally to make thin cutlets.