1.75 to 2poundsthin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 ½cupsItalian seasoned panko bread crumbs
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepperor to taste
½cupgrated Parmesan cheesedivided
2tablespoonsolive oilor as needed
1cupshredded part-skim mozzarella
fresh basil or Italian parsleyfor garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Generously coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
If necessary, use a meat mallet to pound the chicken to ¼-inch thickness. Cut large pieces in half, if desired. You should have 6 to 8 pieces. Set aside.
In a low, shallow dish (a pie plate works well) combine bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, pepper, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. In a separate shallow dish whisk together the egg, milk, and salt.
Dip each chicken breast first in the egg mixture and then dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture, pushing crumbs onto the surface of the chicken with your hands to help them stick. Transfer the breaded chicken to the prepared baking sheet. Wash your hands well.
Spray the top of the breaded chicken lightly with nonstick cooking spray and add a light drizzle of olive oil on each piece (about 1 teaspoon per piece). Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce over each piece of chicken, followed by 1 tablespoon of pesto, the mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkling of the remaining Parmesan. Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the sauces are warmed through and cheese has melted.
Delicious served with the cooked pasta of your choice.
It is important to use thin-sliced chicken for this recipe. If you are using thicker cut breasts, be sure to pound them or slice them thin to ensure quick and even cooking.