Chicken Parmesan

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Serves 6

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

6 chicken breast fillets

• about 250ml homemade breadcrumbs

180ml grated Parmesan

1–3 garlic cloves (to taste)

1 bunch fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley and thyme

• a good pinch of paprika

3 eggs

• about 200ml flour

• oil for shallow-frying

6 slices mozzarella

6 sprigs thyme

• about 80ml basil pesto

• about 300g pasta

• fresh basil

MARINARA SAUCE

15ml olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tin whole tomatoes

3 fresh tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a box grater

3 sprigs fresh oregano

• a good pinch of dried chilli

• a good pinch of sugar

125ml cream

1 Heat the olive oil for the sauce in a pot over medium heat and fry the onion until glossy. Add the garlic and stir-fry for another minute. Add the fresh and tinned tomatoes, herbs and spices. Use a potato masher to break up the whole tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, while you prepare the chicken. Keep an eye on the consistency.

2 Make an incision on the underside of each fillet to butterfly the meat. Then place between two layers of cling film and flatten with a meat mallet until about 1cm thick.

3 Mix the breadcrumbs, 120ml Parmesan, garlic and herbs in a food processor. Add a good pinch of paprika, salt and pepper and mix well. Place in a shallow bowl, ready for dipping. Whisk the eggs with the remaining Parmesan and another pinch of salt and pepper in a second shallow bowl and get a third one ready with some flour.

4 Dip the prepared chicken in the flour, then in the egg and, lastly, in the seasoned crumbs. Rest the chicken in the fridge for 10 minutes before frying to allow the crumbs to settle.

5 Preheat the oven. Put the pasta water on to boil and get the mozzarella and pesto ready. Shallow-fry the chicken on both sides until browned. Do it in batches, if necessary, so you don’t crowd the pan. Place the chicken on a baking tray, top with the mozzarella and thyme and bake for about 8–10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Cook the pasta until al dente and mix with the pesto. Add the cream to the marinara sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6 To serve Add a spoonful of marinara sauce to each plate followed by a portion of pesto pasta. Top with a piece of chicken and a couple of fresh basil leaves.

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