My own cooking is often inspired by all the amazing artisanal crafters out there. It's exciting to meet people who are really passionate about the food they create. And in my Hoboken, New Jersey neighborhood, there's a little family-owned deli called M & P Biancamano that has made award-winning mozzarella -- or "mutz" as they call it here. It's so delicious I just had to use it to make my own dish.
While I think the best way to eat this mozzarella is just straight with some basil, tomato and olive oil, this recipe is irresistible with the gooey mozzarella on top. I also sneak in lots of vegetables and bake the chicken instead of frying it so it's healthier for my family.
Watch the video to see how I learn to make mozzarella from the master and try this recipe at home!
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 eggplant, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms chopped
- 1 – 2 tablespoons flour
- Salt, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 3 breasts of chicken cut very thin or pounded paillard style
- ½ cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
- ¼ pound fresh mozzarella cut into thin slices
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
Coat eggplant with flour. Heat oil in pan, and add the eggplant. Then add onions and garlic. Allow to cook until eggplant is golden and onions and are translucent. Add in mushrooms, red pepper, and salt. Once the vegetables have mostly cooked, add the tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Use oven safe baking platter and coat with olive oil. Mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together.
After chicken is pounded thin (cover with plastic to pound) season with salt and pepper.
Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs and place in baking platter. Bake each side about 5-7 minutes, flipping the breasts.
When they appear done, remove from oven and add sauce to the pan to coat the chicken generously. Cover each breast with a slice of mozzarella, bake until golden, about 2 -3 minutes. Broil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to get a golden color on top. Top with fresh basil leaves.
Serve with plain linguini or penne pasta.