Chicken Parm is definitely one of my favorite choices when it comes to Italian fare. A tender chicken cutlet, breaded and pan fried – then slathered in a zesty tomato sauce and melted cheese. How can you not love it? It’s also a relatively quick dinner, that can be pulled together with pantry staples.
I remember my early days; making this dish with pre-breaded chicken breasts and jarred tomato sauce. But, once I made it from scratch, there was just no comparison. No going back. I’ve been known to use a jarred sauce in a pinch, actually have a couple of jars of sauce in the pantry that I need to whittle down. But, after making this super quick marinara a few months ago – I just haven’t been using the store bought stuff. If you’ve not made chicken parm at home before, give it a try. It’s a classic dish that anyone should be proud to have “under their belt”. Enjoy!
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs*
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Beat the eggs in a second shallow dish. Spread the breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.
Pound the chicken to an even thickeness, about 1/2-inch. Pat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge through flour, then dip into the egg, and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the breaded chicken on a plate.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add two pieces of chicken and cook until light golden brown on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes.
Drain the chicken briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining breaded chicken.
After cooking, place the breaded chicken over cooling rack placed inside a rimmed baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Spoon 1/4 cup marinara over the top of each chicken breast, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of shredded Parmesan. Bake the chicken until the cheese has melted and browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve with pasta and remaining marinara sauce.
* To make the breadcrumbs, tear 4 pieces of sandwich bread into quarters and pulse in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 8 pulses.