Chicken Parmesan is one of the most delicious foods on the planet. Here's how to make Perfect Italian Chicken Parmesan that's crisp on the outside, tender inside and covered with velvety rich tomato sauce and melted cheese. When you cook this for friends and family, you'll have some happy folks at your table!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN PARMESAN
What we are after here is tender chicken breast cutlets coated with crisp breadcrumbs, covered with a velvety rich tomato sauce and two kinds of melted cheese... add to that some pasta to soak up some more of that delicious tomato sauce and I'm getting happy just thinking about it.
There are three key steps to making great homemade chicken parmesan:
- Start with an excellent tomato sauce. The one I'll show you how to make here is easy and it's my favorite!
- Get the chicken cutlets nice and thin, breaded and sautéed to perfection: crunchy outside and tender inside. This is not hard to achieve with a few simple steps.
- Assemble the dish and bake it in the oven until hot and bubbly. This part is easy!
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO SAUCE FOR CHICKEN PARMESAN
I have a thing for tomato sauce, really good intensely tomatoey tomato sauce. Occasionally, if I'm really pressed for time I'll buy a good quality tomato sauce like Rao's, but usually I make my own tomato sauce from scratch because it's very easy to do.
All you need are a handful of simple, good quality ingredients: imported Italian canned tomatoes, fruity extra virgin olive oil, a little fresh garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Fresh basil to stir in at the end is optional but highly recommended.
The type of canned tomatoes you choose for your sauce matters a lot. If you use excellent canned tomatoes for sauce, you get amazing results.
The Best Canned Tomatoes for Tomato Sauce:
I've paid close attention to taste tests over the years and the consensus is that the best canned tomatoes are either those from San Marzano, Italy or Muir Glen Organic tomatoes, grown in California's San Joaquin Valley. In both cases the tomatoes are picked at the peak of ripeness, so they are fruity and deep red and make delicious sauce.
My favorite homemade tomato sauce takes 5 minutes of prep:
- Sauté chopped garlic and red pepper flakes in a good amount olive oil for 30 seconds
- Add canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes
- Puree with an immersion blender or leave sauce chunky.
HOW TO POUND, BREAD AND SAUTE CHICKEN FOR CHICKEN PARMESAN
While the sauce is simmering, you'll have plenty of time to prepare the chicken.
First you'll want to pound the chicken breasts to make thin cutlets. Or sometimes you can find thin chicken cutlets at the grocery store.
To avoid a mess, I put my chicken into a large sturdy plastic baggie and then pound it with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until I get the desired thickness.
Next you'll want to bread the chicken cutlets in the traditional way by dipping them first into flour, then into egg and then into bread crumbs or Panko crumbs.
Once your chicken is breaded, heat oil in a skillet and brown the cutlets for a minute or two per side. Don't worry about cooking them through. They will finish cooking in the oven. The goal here is to get the crumb coating brown and crisp.
The final step is to assemble the chicken parmesan in layers: First spoon some sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, add the chicken in a single layer, top with sauce. The final layer is mozzarella and parmesan.
Set the chicken parmesan in a 350ºF oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, the sauce is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN PARMESAN
- Sautéed Spinach and Garlic
- Insalata Tricolore (Italian salad of arugula, radicchio and endive)
- The Best Easy Ratatouille
- Chimichurri Broccoli Salad
Here's the recipe for Breaded Chicken Parmesan with Tomato Sauce. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a comment and a star rating. I'd love to know what you think.Print
This Breaded Chicken Parmesan with Tomato Sauce Recipe first appeared on Panning The Globe in September 2013. It has been updated with new photos, added nutritional information and clearer instructions.