This is the ideal recipe for those days when you just need some good ol' comfort food with a side of indulgence. Unlike the deep-fried breaded chicken parmesan that you might find in restaurants, this is a nutrient-dense version that will leave you feeling completely satisfied and fabulous! It's one of those dishes that is unbelievably simple to make, yet leaves everyone around the table 'oo-ing' and 'ahh-ing'. For the coating I have used almonds. Yes... you read that right!! Not only do they make an incredibly delicious crispy coating, but they are also rich in magnesium and an amazing source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which helps to protect our cells.
The simple tomato sauce can be thrown together in no time at all and is so flavoursome. The key to the sauce is the quality of the chopped tomatoes that you use - it really makes a difference to the taste. I used a tin of organic Italian chopped tomatoes for this recipe and it was delish!! Together, with the parmesan and the chicken, it makes for a divine combination!
2 (6 oz) good-quality chicken breasts
130g (1 cup) almonds
1 large garlic clove
1 tsp dried parsley (or oregano)
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
1 free-range/organic egg
1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (the higher the quality the better!)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp sea salt (more if needed)
Good grind of black pepper
20g grated parmesan (or preferred cheese - goats cheese and mozzarella work well too!)
SERVES: 2-4 (depending on if you want whole or half of the chicken breast) TOTAL TIME: 35 MINS
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6.
Start with the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Add in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened.
While the sauce is bubbling away you can crack on with the chicken. First, blitz the almonds in a food processor until they resemble a breadcrumb texture. Throw in the garlic, parsley, paprika and salt and pulse again until the garlic is broken down and it is all combined (do not over process beyond the texture of breadcrumbs). Put this almond mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
Crack the egg into a separate bowl, whisk with a fork and set aside.
Next, place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of parchment paper on a chopping board and bash with a rolling pin until ½in thick. Cut each breast in half to make 4 smaller pieces. Immerse each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, shake off any excess and then immediately roll in the almond coating ensuring the chicken is well covered. Set aside on a plate until ready to cook.
Heat the coconut oil in an oven-proof skillet over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Spoon the tomato sauce over each piece of chicken and sprinkle with the parmesan (or chosen cheese) and then move to the oven for about 10 mins until the cheese is melted and turning golden.
Serve with some vibrant green veggies or a colourful rocket salad.