After macaroni and cheese, Chicken Parmesan is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Breaded, crispy chicken, sweet warm tomato sauce, and gooey mozzarella, could you get any closer to perfection? Although the breading, dredging in flour, and egg steps may be a little intimidating, with help from the store, a delicious Chicken Parmesan can be made by any beginner cook! If you're up to a culinary challenge, tackle the expert recipe by making a fresh tomato sauce with hand torn basil and salty crushed black Kalamata olives. To choose which way you'll make it, view the recipes for both, just
2 large whole boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 - 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 cups dry bread crumbs (can be seasoned with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups store bought Italian tomato sauce
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- With the flat side of a cleaver or a heavy skillet (you can also use a roller or even a wine bottle), pound or roll the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap to the desired thickness (usually about 1/4").
- Spread the bread crumbs on a flat plate.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Set the tomato sauce on low heat to warm (it will spread more easily).
- Thoroughly coat cutlets with bread crumbs (press down firmly while coating with bread crumbs).
- On medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Saute the breaded cutlets until they are deep golden brown on both sides. Remove to paper towel spread over old newspaper to drain.
- Place 1/2 cup of the warm tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the cutlets in one layer. Add the cooked cutlets to the baking dish; cover with the rest of the tomato sauce of the warm tomato sauce and the sliced/grated mozzarella.
- Cook the chicken parmesan in the oven for ten minutes. If the cheese has not melted/browned you can slip it under the broiler for a minute or so - keep an eye on it so the cheese does not burn.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Goes great with a side of pasta and a green salad and or French/Italian bread, or garlic bread.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried plain bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft.
- Add the olives and some hand-torn basil, reserve the rest of the basil for finishing the chicken.
- Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.
- Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, add the 1 cup parmesan, chopped parsley, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.
- Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and arrange the mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and remaining basil.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.