Even though we’re a family of four, there are many times my husband and I find ourselves eating without the kids. You know, when my husband’s headed for a late afternoon of fishing that bleeds into evening after a long day at work, when we don’t have a chance to sit down until our youngest is already in bed.
On these kinds of days, rather than cook a full meal for the kids and then save the leftovers for us to eat late, I’ll make something fun for the kids (breakfast for dinner, for example) and then a regular dinner for the two of us.
Not that the kids don’t love this meal – it’s very kid friendly – you could certainly add another chicken breast or two, use a larger casserole dish, and more sauce and cheese to expand the serving size. It’s very versatile…and transportable.
Speaking of transportable…. Need something to bring to friends with a new baby? Get everything put together in the casserole dish, and then leave it to them to bake it and cook the pasta. If you’re feeling extra sweet, you can also add a baguette and side salad. They’ll love you forever.
Baked Chicken Mozzarella For Two
2 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 jar marinara sauce
6 slices mozzarella (fresh would be great, but I had prepackaged on hand)
1/2 box angel hair pasta
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pull out 3 plates and add the flour to the first, the beaten eggs to the second, and the breadcrumbs to the third. Set aside. Pour half the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Set aside.
Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a large skillet and set it on the stove to warm over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, pound out the chicken breasts to 1/4-inch thick, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle basil, salt and pepper on each side, and then place one chicken breast in the flour plate, flipping to lightly coat both sides.
Next, move the chicken to the egg plate, again flipping to lightly coat both sides.
Lastly, move the chicken to the breadcrumbs plate, once again flipping to lightly coat both sides. Repeat the 3 steps with the second chicken breast.
Place the coated chicken breasts into the hot skillet and let cook for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes, and then lay them in the baking dish. (It’s okay if they overlap a little.)
Sprinkle the top of the chicken with more basil, the remaining marinara, and then add the mozzarella on top. If you still have a little basil left, go ahead and sprinkle more over the cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melty and golden. Remove from the oven, cover, and set aside.
Set a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove. Once boiling, add the angel hair pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Strain, add the pasta back to the pot, and combine with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Serve Baked Chicken Mozzarella with a helping of hot pasta. Makes enough for a generous portion for 2 adults, and I suspect you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. Goes great with warm crusty bread, and a fresh field greens salad!