The Sauce And Cheese Tip For Chicken Parmesan With A Perfectly Crisp Texture

If you adore the crunchy edges of a just-baked chicken parmesan that's smothered in sauce and gooey cheese, we've got good news. There's a simple way to maximize that crispy coating and create a dish that stays unbelievably crunchy right up until your last bite (as long as you eat fast). The secret is to bake your saucy topping separately from your breaded chicken cutlets and combine them just before serving to make chicken parmesan that boasts a perfectly crisp texture.

Traditionally when making chicken parmesan, part-cooked breaded cutlets are placed on an aromatic tomato sauce, topped with more marinara, and blanketed in cheese before being baked in a hot oven until golden and bubbly. However, this classic technique softens the crunchy texture of the chicken as the moisture from the sauce seeps into the crust. If you prefer a golden chicken parmesan that has plenty of bite with an audible crunch, you need to add your sauce and cheese to fully cooked chicken seconds before serving.

To get started, coat your chicken cutlets in a seasoned breadcrumb mixture before lightly frying or grilling them until cooked. Meanwhile, spread your tomato sauce on a separate shallow-edged baking tray with a low lip and cover it with creamy mozzarella and more salty parmesan. Pop the whole dish in the oven until the cheese is bubbly on the edges and then gently slide the saucy mixture over the edge of your baking tray, gliding it onto your crispy chicken cutlets.

The benefits of preparing chicken parmesan this way

Preparing your chicken parmesan separately from the sauce and cheese provides an extra helping of crispiness because the base of your protein isn't sitting in a pool of marinara and getting soggy. The result is strata of perfectly distinct crust, fragrant tomato sauce, and satisfyingly melty mozzarella topped with a flourish of green herbs. 

Secondly, because you've ditched the classic all-in-one method, there's no chance of the cheese overcooking and burning in the time it takes for the chicken cutlets to fully cook through. This is particularly useful if you prefer thicker pieces of chicken, instead of thinner cutlets, that take longer to cook than the time it takes for the cheese to melt. Gliding the topping over your cooked chicken at the perfect melty moment eliminates this timing problem. 

Thirdly, this technique is ideal for meal planning. Simply reheat your batch-cooked chicken while your sauce and cheese melt on a separate baking tray to enjoy another day of chicken parmesan with a deliciously crisp texture. Looking for a little extra crunch? Try this recipe for crispy and saucy chicken parmesan, which features ground pine nuts that are mixed into the breading to make a super crackly crust.