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Big flavor, low fat in easy-to-make meal

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press

Recipe crosses chicken Parmesan with pasta puttanesca

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 12:01 am

A chicken Parmesan that's big on flavor, but not on fat? It's easier — and more weeknight-friendly — than you might think.

I started with a basic breaded and baked chicken breast. For speed, I cut the breasts into thin cutlets. And that speed isn't just a convenience. It also pays dividends on texture. The less time the chicken spends in the oven, the more tender and moist.

For a crunchy coating, I kept it simple — panko breadcrumbs. Dunk the chicken in egg, drag it through the breadcrumbs and you're good to go.

While the chicken bakes, the sauce comes together in just minutes on the stovetop. I used puttanesca — the fast and flavorful pasta sauce — as my inspiration. A few high-flavor ingredients pull it all together in no time. And with a lot less of the usual fat that clogs this dish. We do finish it with Parmesan cheese, but the sauce is so flavorful already, a little goes a long way.

Chicken puttanesca Parmesan

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 egg

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 to 6 oil-packed anchovies

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped

1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons capers

5 large leaves fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

Carefully slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to create two thin halves.

Place egg in wide, shallow bowl. In second bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Dunk chicken cutlets first in the egg, then in breadcrumbs, pressing as needed to adhere them to meat. Arrange breaded cutlets on baking sheet, then mist tops with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high, heat oil. Add anchovies and red pepper flakes, then saute until anchovies have dissolved. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook just until tomatoes begin to break down, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in olives, garlic, capers and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

When chicken is done, transfer each cutlet to serving plate. Spoon sauce over each, then top with Parmesan.

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 100 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 105 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 30 g protein; 1010 mg sodium.