When I think of comfort food Chicken Parmesan always comes to mind. Last summer a friend of mine ( a millenial with no cooking experience) asked if I would teach her some cooking techniques and some easy recipes. I wanted to give her something that wouldn’t be too overwhelming but would also include steps that could be used in other recipes. We had an amazing time making this together and she has a great start to developing a repertoire of her own recipes. Enjoy! Every delicious bite will melt in your mouth.
Fun fact: This Italian American classic is thought to be an adapted version of eggplant parmigiana common throughout southern Italy . When early immigrants got to North America meat was so affordable that chicken was subbed in for the eggplant.
Please use the best jar sauce you can get or try my simple Marinara recipe. Leftovers? Grab some fresh Italian buns, sauté some mushrooms and peppers and you’ll have the most epic sandwiches.
While this dish is relatively simple, a couple of steps are key.
Pounding the chicken. Don’t leave this step out! It will make the meat so tender
Layer your seasonings. I talk about this all the time and it can make the such a difference to the final result. Season your flour, eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. I even add a pinch to the already seasoned Italian breadcrumbs. *for those who need a specific measurement a pinch = 1/8 teaspoon
Prep time: 1 hour
Baking: 35 minutes
4 -6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts halved & pounded thin
1 cup flour
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4-5 cups marinara sauce
250 grams Mozzarella cheese sliced or shredded ( provolone or fontina work well also)
Kosher Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 – 2/3 cups olive oil
Preheat oven to 350
I find the easiest and least messiest way to pound the chicken is to place it into a large zip close freezer bag. Make sure you get as much air as possible out of the bag before you seal it. Use a rolling pin and pound the chicken until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Try not to hit it too hard that you make holes in it. Remove, cut it into 2 pieces and repeat with rest of chicken or use a new bag if you prefer.
Set up breading station- chicken / seasoned flour/ eggs/combined breadcrumbs/ empty dish . Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs.
Dredge pounded chicken breast in seasoned flour. Dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Set aside. Repeat with each piece of chicken. Set aside
Heat 1/2 olive oil in non stick frying pan on medium heat. This will be a shallow fry.
Add chicken breast 2 at a time ( don’t overcrowd pan) and do it in batches
Fry 2 minutes per side or until chicken is golden brown. Chicken will not be cooked. Pat with paper towel and set aside. Repeat with remaining breasts.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non stick spray. Add approx 2 cups of marinara sauce to the bottom of the dish or enough to cover well.
Layer the breaded chicken. Top each piece with sauce to almost cover.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each piece. Top with sliced mozzarella and a sprinkle of oregano.
Bake for 30-35 mins uncovered.