Chicken Parmesan is the ultimate comfort food in our house. It’s juicy, tender white chicken breasts tossed in seasoned breadcrumbs, lightly fried, then smothered in tangy tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella; what’s not to love?
Chicken parmesan pairs perfectly with a bright green salad or spaghetti. An added bonus: there are usually leftovers, and they are delicious on sandwiches!
I’ve learned a couple of tricks over the years with this classic dish. Originally, I would attempt to pound a chicken breast flat with a mallet. While it would definitely flatten out a little bit, it would never give that perfect chicken to sauce to cheese ratio I was looking for. Now, I butterfly my chicken breasts, then pound the butterflied breast flat.
Another tip I have learned is to include fresh herbs in the breadcrumbs. It adds a little punch of colour and flavour and brightens up the dish.
Whenever I make chicken parmesan I always use homemade marinara sauce (You can get my full recipe with photos here). I also use Tre Stella brand mozzarella. I find it has a really good melt to it! I’m not sure why, but whenever I buy pre-shredded cheese it never melts well. I think it’s worth the time to put in the extra 5 minutes and shred your mozzarella. If you want to go all out, you can also make your own mozzarella! My recipe for homemade mozzarella is here!
Recipe for Chicken Parmesan:
For the Chicken:
6 Chicken Breasts (Butterflied)
4 Large Eggs
4 Tablespoons of Finley Chopped Parsley
3 Cups of Dried Breadcrumbs
3 Cups of Flour
1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Kosher Salt (To Taste)
Fresh Cracked Peppercorn (To Taste)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil (For Frying)
For the Sauce:
8 Fresh Roma Tomatoes (Roughly Diced)
1 Onion (Roughly Diced)
4 Cloves of Garlic (Roughly Minced)
7-8 Basil Leaves (Chiffonade)
1/2 Tablespoon of Oregano
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Water
1 Good Glug of High-Quality Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Cracked Peppercorn
For the Toppings:
1 Ball of Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Cracked Peppercorns
Instructions for Chicken Parmesan:
1: Cover your butterflied chicken breasts with plastic wrap, and pound flat with a mallet. Set aside.
2: Mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic seasoning, kosher salt, fresh cracked peppercorn, chopped parsley, and grated parmesan together. Lay flat on a plate.
3: Pour flour out on to a separate plate. Pat flat with your hand.
4: Crack eggs into a shallow bowl, whisk with a fork. Line up your flour plate, breadcrumb plate, and egg bowl. Submerge a butterflied chicken breast into your beaten eggs, then into the flour. Coat evenly, then repeat the step with the egg and flour. Finally, dredge one more time through the egg, then toss in the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside, and repeat until all six chicken breasts are coated.
5: Preheat oil over medium heat on the stove top. Fry chicken 1 to 2 pieces at a time in the oil for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.
Instructions for Chicken Parmesan Sauce:
6: Preheat a pan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil, then slide your onions and garlic into the pan. Saute for about 4 minutes, or until translucent.
7: Once your onion and garlic have picked up some colour, slide in your chopped tomatoes. Add fresh basil, fresh cracked peppercorn, oregano, a good pour of balsamic vinegar, and kosher salt. Saute for an additional 4 minutes. Add water and tomato paste, stir, and simmer for about 10-12 minutes.
8: Carefully ladle sauce into a food processor and pulse until the sauce is an (almost) smooth consistency. Taste, and season with additional salt if required.
Instructions for Assembly:
9: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Arrange your breaded chicken breasts. Spoon marinara sauce over the breasts. Then sprinkle freshly grated parmesan, then smoother each breast in freshly shredded mozzarella.
10: Place chicken parmesan into the preheated oven, and allow to bake until cheese is melted and browning, about 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Serve with fresh basil and a great glass of wine!