I’ve been making this dish for as long as I can remember. Maybe with slight variations but the recipe below is pretty much the way I’ve been making it. I’ll admit, when I was young I used a good quality marinara sauce in a jar. Now I make my own sauce.
When I started my journey in the kitchen, at about the age of 14, I was so proud of myself because I had made something fancy. Back then, for a young girl at my age, I thought I did. Well, I’ve been making Chicken Parmesan for my family and not for Chris and I and friends. I love it. It’s not complicated but oh so delicious and it’s comfort food for me. I mean, who doesn’t like the crispy breading on the chicken, the subtle robust tomato sauce and who can resist the gooey cheese on top. This is one of my favorite meals to make. I read on the Internet that it’s also one of the most requested dishes on a menu.
1 cup Breadcrumbs (combo of plain and panko or just one or the other)
¼ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Tbsp or more of water
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Garlic
1 – 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 14 oz can Tomatoes (I use Marzano Tomatoes)
3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp of Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp Italian Seasonings
1-2 tsp Sugar (optional but this does help break up the tart acidic taste and balances out the sauce)
½ Onion, chopped
Fresh Basil, chopped
8 Slices of Mozzarella Cheese (or Provolone)
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Parsley and Basil Chopped
Preheat oven 350
On a cutting board, place plastic wrap over each Chicken Breast and pound out each one to the thickness you prefer. They should be thinner than when you started out.
In separate baking dishes, add eggs and water to one and whisk until fully blended. In another baking dish add the flour, and in the third baking dish add the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, garlic and parmesan cheese and mix till fully combined.
Dip each Chicken Breast into the flour – this helps the egg to stay on the chicken – then into the egg mixture and lastly into the breadcrumb mixture.
In a large sauté pan, on med-high heat add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. During cooking you may need more to finish up cooking the chicken.
Depending on the size of sauté pan, you may need to do this in two batches, place two or more Chicken Breast in a heated sauté pan and cook until each side is a nice golden brown, about 4-6 minutes. Don’t worry if chicken isn’t thoroughly cooked through for it will finish cooking in the oven with the tomato sauce.
In a medium saucepan add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for about a minute more. Add in the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper, Italian seasonings. Cook for about 20 minutes. Add in the basil. Taste to see if you want any more seasonings added and if 1 -2 tsp of sugar is needed. Continue to cook the sauce for another 10 to 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender (I love this kitchen gadget) blend the sauce til smooth or the consistency you desire.
If desired, cut each chicken breast in half (I usually do this to make smaller portions because I found one breast to be too large).
In a large baking dish, add a little sauce on the bottom of the dish. Place each chicken breast in the pan. Add a spoonful or more of the sauce over each Chicken Breast. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, until sauce starts to bubble. Remove and then add a slice or more of Cheese over each breast, a spoonful of Parmesan cheese and bake chicken for another 10 minutes or more or until the cheese is bubbly and has melted. Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and basil mixture.
I like serving Chicken Parmesan over spaghetti or fettuccine buttered pasta sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.
* If you don’t want to do the whole flour, egg, breadcrumb mixture, you can dredge the chicken breast in just flour or breadcrumbs and sauté.
* I usually make my own sauce but to save time feel free to use a good jar of marinara sauce.
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