Chicken parmesan is one of the most popular Italian dishes in the U.S. Its simple flavors make it a favorite for kids everywhere, and it’s familiarity gives it a great comfort food quality. That said, despite it’s ubiquity, so often it’s poorly done, especially by home cooks (or the Olive Garden). Too often chicken parm can be dry, overly greasy, poorly flavored, too crispy and burnt, or mushy. Plainly put, there are a lot of ways it can be done wrong. Follow this recipe and procedure and you’ll have excellent chicken parm every time.
|Umm…we’re making chicken? Yea!
Making the Dish
There are a couple of tricks involved and we’ll talk you through each one. The first is preparing the chicken. You’ll want chicken breasts or chicken cutlets, and after rinsing them off the first thing you’ll want to do is pound them flat with a tenderizer, so that they’re about an inch thick all across. Doing so allows you to get uniform cooking across the entire piece of meat.
The next trick is the breading. You want to make sure the breading stays on the meat, and you want it to be well flavored. For the breadcrumbs, in a pinch we use breadcrumbs with italian seasoning like those from Progresso. However if you want to really impress, use Panko bread crumbs. These crumbs will be larger and provide a better texture.
|Our (admittedly non-panko) breadcrumbs.
|Dredging the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture.
|Our chicken cutlets fry in oil.
|Our chicken is golden brown, after just a few minutes in hot olive oil.
|Our perfectly golden chicken, on a bed of tomato sauce.
|Slicing the mozzarella into thick slices to top the chicken.
|Scattering pieces of mozzarella all over the chicken. We were cooking for quite a few people, if it’s just you and a friend, one or two pieces of the mozzarella is all you need.
What you’ll have as an outcome is a perfect chicken parm. Crispy, golden brown, juicy, and extremely flavorful. You can serve it with pasta to use up your extra tomato sauce, or with vegetables, risotto, or really anything you like. It’s a very versatile dish.
Hopefully with this technique in mind, you’ll be even more successful at making it than you have been before!
The Best Chicken Parmesan
4 free range chicken breasts, pounded to one inch thick
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 oz buffalo mozarella
2 cups classic tomato sauce
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min