When my husband and find ourselves incredibly bored, you might find us having morbid discussions. Not weird or creepy but more like planning strategies … where do you want me to put your ashes?, will you remarry?, who will go first? … semi-normal stuff.
Sometimes we even talk about the last thing you would want to eat before you die. His answer changes often but for me, it’s a big bowl of pitted black olives and the best chicken parmigiana the world has to offer. It’s one Italian dish I just never get tired of but you also won’t find the the best in my kitchen. Until I figure out the secret to making this dish incredible, I venture out and try simpler versions … like these chicken parmigiana sandwiches.
Of course these are far from authentic because the chicken isn’t breaded but a girl has to save herself from a few calories where she can.
I still have some ideas on tweaking this recipe but I thought I’d share it as a great starting point. There’s lots of incredible flavor packed in these sandwiches but it doesn’t have the wow-factor yet. The best part … after 5 sandwiches, there is still plenty of sauce for two leftover meals. You could do chicken spaghetti, a chicken dip for pita chips, some sort of tomato based soup or whatever you can come up with.
TIP – Skip the expensive fresh herbs and try adding a few drops of basil essential oil to the sauce for fresh Italian flavor!
- 29 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 14.5 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces canned tomato paste
- 2 cups sweet yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped (about 2 cloves)
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (about 6 leaves)
- 3-4 large THAWED/FRESH boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
- grated parmesan cheese
- 4-6 hard rolls
- Start the slow cooker on low heat.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and stir until combined.
- Add onions, garlic, stir.
- Add parsley, oregano, bay leaves, basil and stir.
- Set chicken breast on top of the sauce, sprinkle generously with salt/pepper, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken.
- Slice the hard rolls in half and toast on a hot buttered skillet.
- Use tongs to grab chunks of the chicken, tapping the excess sauce into the pot before adding to your roll.
- Top with a generous sprinkling of grated parmesan, sliced mozzarella and serve.