This deceptively simple plate really is simple. No hidden tricks, no guesswork. And it works well with a bottle of red wine, a warm consenting body and a fireplace - or in your socks in front of the tube with your dog.
Heat yer oven to about 325-350.[note: Some people like to brown the chicken first before they put it in the pan. In fact, this is not a "traditional" chicken cacciatore recipe at all. But it still works. So, if you want to brown the chciekn first, dredge it in some flour and fry with a couple teaspoons of oil (I like olive) and maybe some chopped onions and garlic to season. DON'T COOK ALL THE WAY! Just fry enough to brown the outer part of the chicken. After browning, place in pan as below.]
Take yer chicken breasts and rinse them well in cold water. Using a baking pan about 2-3 inches deep (glass is best, but metal will do too), lay down a medium-thick layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle some garlic powder, pepper, and oregano (all to taste) on the sauce & stir in. Grate some mozzarella and stir that in, too. Put the chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle some salt (not much) on top of the chicken. You can also use Tony's (a/k/a Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning, the BEST seasoning on the face of the planet) in place of salt.
Grate some mozzarella over the chicken and sauce - the amount really depends on how cheesy you like your dishes to be. I'll usually do about half a block and then use the rest to cut in slices for the top. Make sure you distribute the mozzarella as evenly as possible.
Cover the chicken breasts with the remainder of your sauce, adding more or less according to your tastes. You can be adventurous and squirt a few drops of Tabasco sauce in, too. Slice your mozzarella and put in top, keeping in mind that this will turn into a YUMMY browned concoction after you take it out of the oven.
Pop it in the warmed oven. Wait about 30-45 minutes (depending on thickness of breasts, your oven's tendencies, etc). When the top mozzarella pieces are well browned, it's done. (As I am a paranoid chicken eater, I still check the chicken. But, that's paranoia for you.)
Enjoy with warm French bread to sop up the sauce. Yum!
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