What is Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Parmigiana or Chicken Parm as it is fondly referred to by many is a fantastic dish that offers a crispy thin fried chicken cutlet, that is smothered with a flavorful red tomato sauce and topped with a melted mozzarella-Parmesan mixture.
It is one of those tasty comfort foods that everyone loves, and is often a big favorite to order when dining out. When it comes to Chicken Parm that is going to get close to the restaurant version it really is going to come down to the cutlet. This blog is going to focus on the cutlet because it is the most challenging part of the dish. You need a thin, crispy cutlet where the breading on the cutlet has flavor and more importantly stays on the chicken! You also want to ensure the chicken is moist inside, not over cooked.
I have tried and tested many recipes over the years and by far the best recipe I have found to deliver the best chicken cutlet is from Bon Appetit. It is so good, I just have to share it with all of you here.
Super Easy Marinara Sauce Recipe For Chicken Parmesan
Yes, so you will need a red tomato sauce as I mentioned above. I suggest that you head over to our Super Easy Marinara Sauce and make this recipe to use for this dish. It is a very straight forward and is full of flavor that will complement the chicken cutlet for this dish.
I have found the best time to make the red tomato sauce is while you are marinating the chicken cutlets. Whip up the marinara and let it simmer on the stove while you are completing the other steps of preparation of th cutlet.
Keep in mind that if you want to save time do not be too proud to buy your favorite jarred sauce if needed. Just tried to be sure it is made from 100% natural ingredients.
Ok, now back to the cutlets!
Best Chicken Parmesan Ingredients
Best Parmesan Ingredients:
- 4 Skinless, boneless chicken breast ( 3 pounds total)
- 5 cloves of garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs (preferably pasture raised )
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 4 cups Panko, Japanese bread crumbs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 12 ounce of low-moisture shredded mozzarella
- 8 ounce pre-grated Parmesan cheese
- 3-4 cups Vegetable Oil for frying
- 2 Tbsp of finely chopped parsley for garnish
How To Make The Best Chicken Parmesan
Working with one chicken breast at a time you will need to get the breast to a thinner piece. These days, some of these chicken breasts are huge! Take the chicken breast and with your full palm on the top of the breast, carefully cut the breast thru the middle of the slice, see picture below.
Honestly these days these chicken breasts are enormous. These chicken breasts are organic so they are not as thick as some can be, but still yet I was able to get two fairly nice sized cutlets from it.
Once you have two full halves of chicken from one breast, you are going to cover the breast with clear plastic wrap and pound the chicken with the back of your hand, rolling pin or a mallet to get that chicken in to a thin cutlet. I do not prefer a super thin cutlet. I am traditionally shooting for a depth of about 1/3 of an inch.
After all of the breasts are now in a thin cutlet state, we want to get them into the marinade. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic into a shallow baking pan. Place the cutlets into the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and marinade 20 minutes up to an hour. Do not worry if the chicken because opaque due to the acid in the lemon juice.
Taking three individual cake pans or pie pans and start to assemble your dredging station.
First, add the flour and mix in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, set aside.
Second, in the next pan, whisk the 4 eggs with the garlic and onion powder and 1/2 tsp of salt, and 2 Tbsp of water.
Third, take the last remaining pan and simply add the Japanese breadcrumbs.
Once the time is up on the marinating process, it is time to work on the coating for your cutlet before the frying process. Working one cutlet at a time you are going to remove the cutlet from the marinade. Carefully shake off the rest of the marinade and coat the in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, and finally covering with the Panko breadcrumbs until each side of the cutlet is coated nicely. Place the the now coated cutlets on a baking sheet with lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 7 hours.
Take a small bowl and add the Parmesan cheese and mozzarella and mix until well blended. Set aside for later.
Fry time: add the oil to a large cast iron so that the oil is about an 1 inch deep in the pan. You want to heat your oil to about 400 degrees. Working in small batches, add the cutlets to the oil and cook about 2 minutes per side. These cutlets are thin so keep an eye on them. Once they are cooked, set the cooked cutlets on a cooling rack over a baking sheet for any oil to drain off. Season with a bit more salt to taste.
How To Serve Chicken Parmesan
When it is time to serve, you want to add the chicken cutlet to the plate, add your favorite red sauce, see marinara recipe noted in the blog above, so you can still see some of the cutlet. Add a generous amount of the mozzarella-Parmesan cheese mixture and place under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns slightly.
What To Serve With Chicken Parmesan
My family really enjoys eating Chicken Parm over a bed of De Cecco Linguine No. 7 noodles as pictured. I simply cook noodles to al dente in salted water. The noodles are then well coated with melted butter and tossed with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
On the lighter side, I also like to serve a big fresh salad with a homemade dressing like my favorite Peppery Parmesan Garlic Salad Dressing. Then to round out the meal, some fresh sliced Italian bread.