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Chicken Parmigiana Will Never Let You Down

This easy to make chicken parmigiana recipe gives you a versatile, crowd-pleasing dish

If you had to rank Italian-American cuisine’s greatest hits, chicken parmigiana is definitely in the top 3. Depending on your tastes, spaghetti and meatballs, and then lasagna, take the top 2 slots, and chicken parm is close behind. Go ahead and fight me if you disagree. 

One of my favorite things about chicken parm is its versatility. Make chicken cutlets in advance, and prepping this dish equates to an easy weeknight meal. Just bake with sauce, mozzarella, Parmigiana-Reggiano, and seasoning. Add a side of spaghetti for the red-sauce joint classic, or serve it with a side salad or other greens, or on a hero roll while fresh or as leftovers the next day..

Another thing to consider is thickness of the cutlet. Here in Brooklyn, you’ll often hear Italian-Americans ask the butcher to “pound it thin” when ordering their chicken for cutlets. There’s no doubt that a chicken parmigiana made with thin cutlets, the cheese cooked to a nice crisp, is heavenly. When served fresh out of the oven, I also like a thicker cutlet made with high-quality chicken breast; the cooking process seals in the juices. The recipe below calls for a thicker cut, but it’s easy to sub in thinner cutlets using the same measurements—simply use the same amount by weight, which may yield three or four cutlets instead of two.

Chicken parmigiana doesn’t come with rules. It’s not an “authentic” Italian dish, so you won’t be offending any distant relatives in the Old Country by experimenting. Its origins seem to trace back hundreds of years to southern Italy, where Neapolitans and others used the abundant melanzane (eggplant) as a cheaper alternative to meat. 

Chicken parm as we know it today became popularized in the 20th century in cities with sizable Italian immigrant populations, probably when cooks substituted cheaper poultry for the original veal cutlets. It’s been a staple for almost a century now, a go-to on the menu at Olive Garden, source of endless deli chicken parm sub offerings, an Australian pub treat known as “chicken parmy” and a relatively easy to make home-cooked meal. 

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

Recipe by richard
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Recipes
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

50

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 milk

  • 1 1 egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound 1 boneless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup 1 breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons 2 olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 tomato sauce

  • 1/2 pound 1/2 fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons 2 grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Whisk egg and milk in a shallow bowl
  • In another shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepeper
  • Dip each chicken breast into egg mixture, then coat thoroughly with breadcrumb mixture.
  • Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet and fry chicken breasts for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until breading is golden brown and crisp
  • Transfer chicken breasts to a baking dish, cover each with tomato sauce and mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove baking dish from oven and preheat the broiler on high
  • Return dish to oven and broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve immediately

Notes

  • Photo: Mark Shaw

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