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Mozzarella Chicken in Homemade Tomato Sauce

Mozzarella Chicken in Homemade Tomato Sauce Categories:
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INGREDIENTS:
    4 small  chicken breasts
    1 tablespoon  olive oil
    1 tablespoon  minced garlic
    ½ cup  chopped onions
    1 (14 ounce) can  crushed tomatoes
    ½ teaspoon  EACH Italian seasoning AND red pepper flakes, (see notes)
    ¼ teaspoon  dried basil
    1 tablespoon  sun-dried tomato pesto, (homemade or store-bought) (see notes)
      salt
      pepper
    ¼ cup  water
    4 slices  mozzarella cheese,, (or 1 cup shredded)

TO SERVE:
chopped parsley or basil + pasta or crusty bread
DIRECTIONS:

CHICKEN: Sprinkle the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until the chicken is completely cooked through, remove to a plate. If you are planning on serving this with pasta, get the water going and cook the pasta according to package directions.
TOMATO SAUCE: Preheat the oven on the broiler setting. Add the onions to the oil remaining in the pan. If there isn?t any, add in about ½ teaspoon and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until the soften, add the garlic and let cook for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, dried basil, and pesto and stir to combine. When the sauce reaches a simmer, add a ¼ cup of water, lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
ASSEMBLE: Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce and using a spoon, cover the chicken with sauce. Top each breast with a slice of cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese gets nice and bubbly and just melts. Top with chopped parsley or basil ribbons. Serve with pasta or crusty bread and a salad.
NOTES:

Though I do recommend using sun-dried tomato pesto for this recipe as it really enhances the flavor of the sauce and makes it taste like it was simmered all day, basil pesto will also work in the recipe.
Also, you can use more or less red pepper flakes to taste. Omit for a milder sauce.

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