Whoever thought a “grilled” chicken parmesan would grace my kitchen table? Well, this is one of those last-minute dishes that just sort of “happened”. My youngest gal loves chicken parmesan. (She especially loves Ms. Daniella’s chicken parmesan!) However, Suzie Q is wheat intolerant and I was fresh out of wheat-free bread crumbs. Not to mention it was hotter than Hades in my house and cooking stove top just wasn’t an option.
Hold the phone! I had a light bulb moment. Why not grill the chicken and assemble it as I would a chicken parmesan? Serve it over Suzie Q’s wheat free pasta with her favorite sauce and voila! Grilled Chicken Parmesan!
It’s amazing what we Mom’s come up with just to make our kids happy. Tasty, simple and made one little gal feel like she wasn’t missing out on a thing. A delicious comfort meal in the middle of summer! Or what I’ve dubbed… summer comfort.
Grilled Chicken Parmesan
If summer’s passed by and it’s middle of winter, I pan sear the chicken instead of putting on my rain gear for grilling.
4-6 organic free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you’d like to marinate the chicken, use an Italian dressing or a simple olive oil and red wine vinaigrette, this will keep the chicken moist during grilling) Or, pound out the chicken into thin cutlets. This works too.
Salt and Pepper
8 fresh basil leaves
4 slices whole milk mozzarella
Your favorite tomato sauce (I’ve included my recipe just in case you’d like to make your own sauce)
Prepared Pasta of your choice (we love spaghetti or penne with chicken parmesan)
Preheat the grill to 375F.
If you haven’t marinated the chicken breasts, gently pound down your chicken breasts so they cook a little faster and stay tender during cooking. Brush each chicken breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the chicken breasts over medium heat, turning as needed. Just before the chicken is done, at about 155-160F, place 2 basil leaves on each chicken breast and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella. Close the lid of the grill and let the chicken finish cooking and cheese melt a bit.
It should take just a few minutes for the chicken to reach 165F, and then transfer the chicken to a platter and let them rest for 3-5 minutes to allow all the delicious juices to re-distribute through the chicken.
To Serve: Place a mound of pasta on a plate, top with a piece of grilled chicken and ladle tomato sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan and chopped Italian parsley.
Simple Tomato Gravy
1 28oz can tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes for a chunkier sauce), I like Muir Glen Organic
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion diced
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano (or ½ tsp fresh chopped oregano)
1 tsp tomato paste
Pinch of red pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup water (keep on hand to thin out sauce)
Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and sauté the onions. When the onions have become translucent, add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic as it will taste bitter. Add the red wine and reduce by half.
Add the tomatoes, oregano, tomato paste and red pepper. Mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add about 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Let the sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes. If the sauce appears to think, add about ¼ cup of water at a time to thin the sauce. Taste for seasoning.
A few tips: If your sauce tastes a little to “bright” or has too much acidity, try adding a pat of butter to your sauce to mellow out the acid.