Is it just me or is Sophia from the Golden Girls the funniest television character ever created? Between her “Picture This” stories and wise cracks about her ex-son-in-law Stan, she has me laughing every time I watch. Which is pretty much every night since I have all seven seasons on DVD (or I turn on the Hallmark channel, which is pretty much just The Golden Girls interspersed with episodes of M*A*S*H now). I was thinking about her as I made this classic Italian dish and laughing the entire way through.
There’s an episode where Sophia is trying to perfect her marinara sauce for the Daughters of Italy cooking contest. She offers Blanche and Dorothy a taste of it and when they don’t get “the look” she knows the sauce isn’t an absolute winner. Like most old world cooks, Sophia never needed a recipe…she relied on her instincts to create a wonderful meal. For me, I still need a recipe from time to time. But when I have fresh, good ingredients, I can throw something together fairly easy. This is how my chicken Parmesan dish came about. I had all these wonderful jars of tomato sauce and lovely chicken breasts from EcoFriendly Foods, so it seemed only natural to throw them together. Toss in fresh herbs from my container garden and fresh mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy and it was Chicken Parm heaven. This entire meal takes about 30 minutes to cook, so it definitely goes in my Fast Food category!
3 tablespoons quality extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper
6-three ounce boneless chicken breasts
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into six pieces
2 cups fresh tomato sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well and allow to stand for at least 5 minutes. Once the herbs have marinated into the oil, brush both sides of each chicken breast with the herbed oil. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken breasts (this may have to be done in batches). Cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes.
Place the sauteed chicken breasts in a large casserole pan. Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken, ensuring each breast is evenly coated. Top each breast with the sliced mozarella and then sprinkle the parmesan evenly over all the breasts. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.Print This Recipe