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Basic Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups chopped onions
- 3/4 cup coarsely grated peeled carrots
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes in juice
- 10 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs (from crustless French bread ground in processor)
- 1 cup (about) all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (or more) olive oil, divided
- 3 cups coarsely grated well-drained fresh water-packed mozzarella,* divided
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
Basic tomato sauce
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and thyme; sauté until carrots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil, coarsely crushing tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to generous 5 cups, about 1 hour. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm sauce before using.
Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound chicken breasts to 1/3-inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Spread breadcrumbs on plate. Whisk eggs to blend in medium bowl. Spread flour on another plate. Coat both sides of chicken with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken to skillet and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed (chicken will not be cooked through). Transfer chicken to platter. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 1 layer of chicken over sauce. Spoon 2 cups sauce over. Sprinkle half of mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pecorino over. Repeat with remaining chicken, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pecorino. Bake until cheeses melt and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and marjoram and serve.
*Available in 1/3 -ounce, 1-ounce, and 8-ounce balls at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets. Regular mozzarella can be substituted.
Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate.
Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.
At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.
Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.
Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.
Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.
This is one of the go-to dishes I make for my family of six. Rich, flavorful, and totally satisfying, we all love it, including my big, strapping cowboy of a husband.
And that&rsquos a very, very good thing.
Break out the good Parmesan for this one, my friends. It&rsquos the right thing to do.
Begin with four to six boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts. And please: do not be afraid of the raw chicken.
I&rsquom actually beginning to believe fear of raw chicken is a diagnosable phobia. I&rsquove seen people run from the room, squirm on the floor, and cry for their mamas.
Place the chicken breasts inside of a Ziploc bag&mdasheither one at a time or, if the bag is gigantic like this one, all at once. Close the seal, leaving about an inch unsealed to allow air to escape.
I put them inside Ziplocs so that when I pound the heck out of them here in a second, microscopic particles of raw chicken will not end up across the room on my computer&rsquos keyboard.
Now THAT would gross me out the door.
Pound the chicken with the smooth side of a mallet.
You want them to be very thin&ndashabout 1/8 to 1/4&Prime thick.
Add the flour to a large plate. Season with salt (mine&rsquos kosher)&hellip
And pepper. Stir flour mixture together.
Season one side of the chicken with salt and pepper, then place that side down on top of the flour mixture.
Then season the other side.
The raw chicken is almost over. I promise.
Once it&rsquos seasoned and dredged in flour, place on a plate while you repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil.
And butter. The small amount of butter will help the chicken turn a nice golden brown without totally smoking up the place.
When everything&rsquos nice and heated, add the chicken to the pan.
Cook on the first side until the edges start getting golden brown&hellip
Then flip over to the other side and cook another couple of minutes.
You want the chicken to be nice and golden and crisp.
Place the chicken on a plate and keep warm.
Then add them to the same skillet over medium-low heat.
And for the love of all things that are good and right in the world, do not clean the pan first! We want all that deliciousness to remain.
Stir them around and allow them to cook for a couple of minutes.
Then grab some wine. My friend April brought me this from Douglas County, Kansas&mdashthis, and about 700 other bottles.
Who knew Kansas wine was so delicious?
And when the onions have cooked for a couple of minutes&hellip
Pour in a good 1/2 to 3/4 cup of wine.
Allow it to heat up and bubble&hellip
Until it turns a deep color and is reduced by half.
Mmmm. This is where the flavor is.
Next, in go the crushed tomatoes!
Stir it together until it&rsquos all combined and allow to simmer over medium heat. The flavors will just keep getting deeper and deeper.
Now add a little sugar. This&rsquoll counteract the acidity of the tomatoes and add a nice flavor balance.
Add some salt and pepper, too, then allow the sauce to cook for a good 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, grate a bunch of Parmesan.
This is the time to break out the good stuff.
After it cooks for awhile, add some chopped parsley to the sauce.
And add just a little Parmesan, just for kicks.
Stir it together, then stand and admire what you have created, for it is good.
Give the sauce a final stir, then carefully place the chicken breasts on top.
Next, completely cover the chicken with Parmesan.
If this is wrong, well&hellipI don&rsquot want to be right.
I repeat that mantra several times a day.
Oh! And hint: if I have fresh basil on hand, sometimes I&rsquoll lay a couple of leaves on my piece of chicken just before I sprinkle on the cheese. Try it sometime.
Now, put the lid on the pan and simmer for a few minutes&hellip
Mmmm. I love what happens to the chicken during this stage.
I always wind up adding more cheese, too. It&rsquos the kinda gal I am.
Repeat after me: if some is good, more is better.
Now just sprinkle on some more parsley&hellip
Now, guess what? If you wanted to, you could serve this chicken on a big, fat sandwich.
But to me, dinner isn&rsquot dinner unless there&rsquos some degree of noodle involvement.
I always sprinkle on a little Parmesan. For luck.
Then lay one of the chicken breasts slightly to the side of the pasta.
And cover the noodles with extra sauce.
Guess whose dinner this is?
I&rsquoll give you a hint: he&rsquos not a woman, he&rsquos not a kid, and he castrates calves for a living.
12 Easy Sides to Serve with Chicken Parm
With a blanket of crisp breadcrumbs, plenty of sauce, and melted cheese, chicken Parmesan is a weeknight wonder. (Especially if you use our faster sheet pan method.) While the chicken bakes in the oven you’ve got 20 minutes or so to round out dinner with a side dish. Boiling a pot of water for some pasta is a common go-to, and while it’s easy and comforting, it never hurts to get some veggies on the plate.
Since the oven is already on, it’s easy enough to slide in a baking sheet for some roasted broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Take advantage of the open stovetop for a quick vegetable sauté, or go for a salad like a classic Caesar or try a version that takes inspiration from your favorite pizza joint.
These are 12 of our best chicken Parmesan sides to round out dinner.
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Woah! I am pleasantly stuffed. I will definitely make this again. I did have a whole bunch of liquid batter left over for 1.7 lbs of boneless chicken thighs. Maybe cut it back by .25 cup milk and one egg the next time.
Perfect family dinner. Modified slightly: used gluten-free italian bread crumbs and Cup4Cup flour, left off the red pepper and used shredded mozz. cheese instead of slices. Served over gluten free Spaghetti. Delish!
Easy and excellent as written. Never needed to change up recipe - always prepared as is.
I love this recipe! The thighs are great and really juicy and tender, and the tomato pesto is a great addition. I served this over pasta, and it was a lot of food, so hope you are hungry!
This is THEEE best chicken parmesan I have ever eaten. The key is definitely the sun dried tomato pesto. I cooked it exactly as printed and used Emeril's Home Style Marinara as the sauce, which was perfect. My boyfriend and I ate so much of it, we were in pain. It's a fair amount of work to make and clean up after, but completely worth it.
Excellent weeknight recipe. Kids and adults raved.
Everything about this is easy except the cleanup. Delicious, traditional chicken parm. Very kid-friendly.
My husband just said he never needs to go to his favorite Italian restaurant again after eating this chicken parm. I agree with the previous reviewer, do not skip the sundried tomato pesto. It adds so much flavor. I've done this twice now, the first time I did it double stacked, and the second time in a single layer and both were amazing. I used chicken cutlets both times as I don't like dark meat and it was very tender and flavorful.
This is a great recipe! Juicy and flavorful, a nice change from the norm but still traditional enough to please the kids! I was able to find skinless boneless chicken thighs at Whole Foods, and they were already fairly thin and small so no need for pounding. I didn't quite need 1 lb of cheese, but that could have been due to the size of the chicken. I also broiled the chicken in single layer, not stacked. The pesto added quite a bit of flavor and should not be skipped. I paired with pasta, Rao's marinara, and a loaf of fresh bread. Great meal!
This recipe is fantastic! I (accidentally) used chicken cutlets instead of boneless thighs. but only because I didn't read the ingredients properly when making my shopping list. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and had a table fun of very happy diners. I will definitely be making this again!
This is the best Chicken Parm recipe by far. The thighs were juicy, the pesto added flavor and all with a minimum amount of time. Rather than layering as the recipe suggested I broiled the chicken in a single layer. This will be my go to recipe for Chicken Parm.
Best Chicken Parmesan ever. The thighs were juicy, the sun-dried tomato pesto added extra flavor with a minimum amount of work. I broiled the chicken in single layers rather than layering as in the directions. This will be my go to recipe for Chicken Parm.
Tips for Making Chicken Parmesan
- Pound the chicken thin: Place the chicken cutlets one at a time between two layers of plastic wrap or wax paper. Use a meat hammer, mallet, rolling pin, or even a heavy empty wine bottle to pound or roll the chicken pieces to an even thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch.
- Grate the onions: One trick that will save a little time with making the sauce is to peel and grate the onion instead of chopping it. Use the large holes of a box grater. Don't cut onion in half, just grate half of a whole onion. The onion will cook faster this way, release more of its juices, and your sauce will come together more quickly.
- Buy the best canned tomatoes: Your sauce will only be as good as your tomatoes, so use a good quality canned tomato! We like the Muir Glen brand of crushed tomatoes (fire roasted or with basil). A good canned San Marzano tomato from Italy would work well too. If crushed isn't available, you can buy canned whole tomatoes and pulse them (with the liquid) in a blender or food processor.
- Make your own breadcrumbs! We like to use stale French bread and run it through the blender or food processor. Check out food processor instructions in this post, How to Make Breadcrumbs.
Chicken Parmesan - Recipes
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- 2 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- ½ cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
Cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to make 4 roughly equal portions. Place between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine breadcrumbs. Parmesan and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl set aside.
Position rack in upper third of oven preheat broiler to high.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken. Transfer the chicken to the plate.
Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour in crushed tomatoes add Italian seasoning, salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Turn to coat with the sauce.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese over each piece of chicken, then top with the reserved breadcrumb mixture. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.) Serve the chicken with the sauce, sprinkled with basil (or parsley).
Tip: To make coarse dry breadcrumbs, spread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled Panko breadcrumbs. Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
How to Make Authentic Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana) – Step by Step
(1) Place chicken cutlets/breasts in a ziplock bag, and firmly pound with a rolling pin or smooth side of a meat hammer – chicken thickness should be 1/2 inch.)
(2) Dip chicken cutlets in flour on both sides.
(3) Then, transfer floured chicken and dip in egg on both sides.
(4) Last, dip both sides of chicken in bread crumbs. Evenly coat and pack breadcrumbs lightly with your hand
Once chicken is pounded so it's a uniform thickness, season all over with salt and pepper.
In a food processor, add saltines, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Pulse until it's the texture of breadcrumbs (you call also pound all of this in a plastic bag).
In large flat bowls or plates, fill one with flour (seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper), one with the beaten eggs and one with the saltine mixture.
Keeping one hand as your "dry" hand and one hand as your "wet" hand, dredge each chicken breast into flour (tap off excess), then into the egg, then into the saltine mixture. Place on a plate and continue with the rest of the chicken.
In a large pan over medium low heat, heat several glugs of olive oil. Once the oil sizzles after you throw a crumb into the pan, cook the chicken on each side until golden. If they're thin, it shouldn't take longer than 3-4 minutes a side.
Place on a rack and continue cooking the rest of the chicken, adding more glugs of olive oil as needed. Don't be afraid of using lots of oil!
Once chicken is done, top each one with mozzarella cheese and broil until bubbly. Top with warmed sauce.