Lorraine Stevenski of Clearwater, Florida, writes: “As a kid growing up in an Italian family, I loved being in the kitchen. But I didn’t become serious about cooking until I got married and had my own kitchen to experiment in. My husband and I lived in Queens, New York, within walking distance of many Greek, Italian, and Spanish food shops. The new foods I discovered there inspired my passion for cooking, and right now one of my favorite recipes is without a doubt chicken marinara.” Chicken marinara is a nice dish when you’re in a hurry or when you just feel like cooking something simple but tasty. It jazzes up bottled spaghetti sauce nicely for those nights you don’t have time make sauce from scratch. Serve chicken marinara with a caesar salad and some French bread and you have a quick, satisfying meal.
7 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 shallots, peeled, chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Mix in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Blend breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in small bowl. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Coat chicken with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture, patting to adhere.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over each chicken breast. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Reduce heat to medium. Cover; cook until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Rewarm remaining sauce; serve alongside chicken.