Chicken Parmigiana is a well-known and popular dish that any Italian eatery likely has on their menu. It’s one of those recipes that look difficult to make, but is actually surprisingly easy; there are a few extra steps to it, granted, but once you get over that hurdle, you can still have this on your dinner table in 40 minutes start to finish. And that’s certainly saying something for a weeknight meal as “fancy” as this one, isn’t it?
I went all the way with this recipe and made the sauce from scratch as well, but if you want to use a jarred pasta or marinara sauce you can absolutely do so; it will pretty much halve your prep time. And of course, when it comes to me making two different meals, this also works beautifully as eggplant parmigiana if you wanted to try a plant-based version.
This dish is traditionally served over angel hair, spaghetti or linguini noodles with some extra red sauce, but is just as delicious over mashed potatoes or as a lunchtime treat in a large toasted kaiser bun as a sandwich. If you’re trying to reduce the calorie count (which is understandable since this version of chicken parm is fried), you can try cauliflower rice or steamed zoodles/veggies, or just pair it with a nice green salad.
YIELD: 4 servings | PREP: 15 mins | COOK: 20 mins | BAKE: 15-20 mins
- 1 tbsp/15mL olive oil
- 1 large white or cooking onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 jar/400 g passata/tomato puree
- 1 tsp/2g dried Italian seasoning (or ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried basil)
- 1 tsp/4g white sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup/120mL neutral oil (for frying)
- 2 cups/250g all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp/30mL milk or cream
- ½ tsp/3g salt
- ⅛ tsp/0.3g fine white or cracked black pepper
- 1 cup/110g Panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup/55g seasoned breadcrumbs
- ½ cup/50g parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 2 tsp/0.25g dried parsley
- 1 tsp/3g garlic powder
- 1 tsp/3g onion powder
- ½ tsp/1g sweet or hot paprika
- 4 large slices/200g shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 1 tbsp/0.5g dried parsley or 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- Preheat oven 425°F/220°C.
- Fillet chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 pieces; gently pound each filet with a meat mallet or rolling pin between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap until flat and uniform in thickness (about ½-inch). Set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Fry onion about 3-5 minutes or until limp and transparent, then add minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the passata, Italian seasoning, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste, Cover and simmer for about 7-8 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Meanwhile, heat oil on the stove on medium-high in a deep, heavy bottomed, oven-safe frypan (like a cast iron pan) or Dutch oven.
- Create your “dredging station”: place three containers side by side; place flour on the first, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper in the second, and combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, dried parsley garlic and onion powder, and paprika together in the third. Have a plate handy at the end of the dredging station to receive the prepared chicken breasts.
- Dredge the chicken filets one at a time with the flour, then into the egg mixture, rotating to evenly coat. Lastly, dip chicken into the breadcrumb mixture to evenly coat, pressing down firmly on all sides.
- Fry prepared chicken breasts in hot oil about 4-5 minutes each side, or until golden and crispy. Set aside cooked chicken and carefully drain hot oil into a heat-safe container. Quickly and carefully wipe out pan with paper towel to remove any crumbs from frying and add back a tablespoon of oil to the surface of the pan; swirl to coat.
- Add cooked chicken back to pan, nestled into a single layer. Top each chicken piece with about ¼ to ⅓ cup of sauce. Top each chicken breast with 1 large slice or 50g of mozzarella cheese and about 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned, bubbling and melted, and the chicken is completely cooked through. Sprinkle parsley overtop and serve hot with extra marinara sauce on the side.