Don’t you hate when your baked chicken cutlets are dry? I’ve found that putting the creamy ricotta filling inside of the cutlet helps moisten the chicken. By open- ing up the cutlet, you allow it to be cooked through more quickly — while the creamy filling tucked inside only has to be heated through.
Yield: serves 8
- 2 C. (500 g) ricotta cheese
- 1/2 C. (20 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. basil (or 1 T. fresh basil, chopped)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 chicken cutlets
- 1 C. (150 g) dry bread crumbs (preferably Italian crumbs, or add a dash of salt and basil to regular crumbs)
- 4 T. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 C. (500 ml) simple tomato sauce (or purchased marinara sauce)
- 2 C. (250 g) shredded mozzarella
1. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, basil, and salt.
2. Lay each cutlet flat and cut a pocket into the widest part. Fill the pocket with about 1/4 C. of the cheese filling.
3. Place crumbs in a shallow bowl and dip each cutlet into them.
4. Heat the olive oil and whole garlic cloves in a medium skillet over medium heat and brown the breaded cutlets just until golden brown.
5. Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into a casserole dish that is large enough to hold the cutlets side by side. Place the browned cutlets in the casserole dish, and top with a few more tablespoons of sauce.
6. Bake uncovered at 375° F (190° C) for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake 10 minutes more.
Variation: Reduce ricotta cheese to 1 1/2 C. and add 1/2-2/3 C. chopped, cooked spinach to the mixture. This can be leftover spinach, or sauté it in a little olive oil and garlic.
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