Main Dishes

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Parm

Chicken parmesan is a classic.  We’ve all made it.  We all love it.  Well, I know I love it.  So I’ve been finding ways to change up the recipe a bit, as I tend to do.  In one of my variations, I coated the chicken with equal parts panko and parmesan and fried it up in canola oil, and I liked the result. This recipe is similar, but I decided to add even more parmesan to the mix, then I topped it with a smooth, sweet tomato sauce and some fresh mozzarella and grated parmesan, culminating in what I call Parmesan Crusted Chicken Parm. Simple, cheesy, and delicious.

Ingredients:
4 thinly sliced skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp. canola oil
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, grated

Sauce:
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Fresh chopped basil (optional)

Step 1: Make the sauce!  In a pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until the onion has become soft.  Add the tomatoes and allow to cook for a few minutes.  Stir in the additional ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This next step is option, but I wanted a smooth sauce. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, then pour into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.  Pour back into pot.

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Step 1: Create a breading station.  Assemble 3 shallow dishes.  In one dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  In another dish, whisk the eggs and the milk.  And in a third dish, mix the panko with 1 cup parmesan cheese.

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Step 2:  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Coat the chicken first with the flour, then in the egg (shaking off excess), and finally coat both sides with the panko mixture.  Fry for approximately 4-5 minutes, turning once, until both sides are lightly browned.

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Step 3: Preheat oven to broil.  Combine the mozzarella cheese and the remaining parmesan cheese. Transfer the chicken cutlets to a casserole dish. Top with sauce, then cheese. Broil until cheese melts. This should only take a few minutes…keep your eye on it!

Step 4:  Sprinkle with fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.  Mangia!

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