Updated: Mar 22
Chicken Parm: it’s basically a pizza on a crispy chicken crust, right? What’s not to love? Everyone in my family is a fan of this recipe. It’s the ultimate crowd pleaser! There are two picky toddlers currently eating at my table, so I like to prepare dinners that I know will please both finicky kids and adults who don’t want to eat watered down “kid food.” This meal fits the bill! It’s almost like chicken tenders and pizza got married and had a really beautiful baby. If that doesn’t sound like a good thing, then I don’t know what does! Second to being absolutely delicious, the best thing about this recipe (adapted from one I found on epicurious.com) is that it’s generally guilt-free! Restaurant style Chicken Parmesan is usually deep fried and covered in a mountain of greasy cheese. My version is baked in the oven and topped with a light “smattering” of mozzarella and grated parmigiano reggiano. It’s a time saver because I bake all of the chicken at once on one large tray instead of frying it up two by two in a skillet. Plus, shhhh, I used jarred marinara (Rao’s is my favorite). I like to serve this succulent entree with some pasta tossed in more marinara and either a side salad or sautéed greens. You cannot go wrong with this one- it’s a home run every time. Mangia, mangia!
prep time: 20 min. cook time: 15 min. serves: 4
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded with a rolling pin or meat mallet to a uniform 1/2” thickness
salt and pepper
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil
1 jar marinara sauce, Rao’s recommended
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Add the Panko to a dry skillet set over medium heat to toast. Stir the Panko frequently to evenly brown, 5 to 7 minutes, until the majority of the Panko is golden. Transfer the toasted Panko to a wide bowl or a large plate to cool.
Preheat the oven to 450° and place a large rimmed baking sheet on the upper rack. Season the tenderized chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Set up your dredging “assembly line” by beating the eggs with 1 tbsp water in a wide shallow bowl to make an egg wash. Next, combine the panko, 3/4 cup parmesan, dried oregano, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in another wide bowl or platter. Lay each breast in the egg wash, coating both sides and allowing the excess to drip off back into the bowl. Then press the chicken into the panko mixture, making sure to coat both sides evenly. Shake off the excess and lay the prepared cutlet on another large baking sheet and repeat (line with foil or parchment to make clean up easier). Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and brush it with the olive oil. Lay the breasts on the baking sheet and return to the middle rack in the oven to cook for 7 minutes. Remove them from the oven, carefully flip them over and place back in oven to cook on the upper rack this time for 5 minutes more, until they are golden brown. Take them out of the oven once more and switch the function to broil. Top each chicken breast with 2 tbsp marinara sauce, torn basil leaves, the remaining Parmesan and the mozzarella. Pop into the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes, allowing cheese to melt and lightly brown. Serve immediately. Buono apetito!