Recipes

Chicken Parmesan

Add a Parm rind to your tomato sauce for the cheesiest version of the Italian favorite
2 Ratings
100% would make again
Chicken Parmesan
Photo: Dave Katz/Tasting Table

This classic Italian comfort food combines juicy breaded chicken and tomato sauce, covered in melty cheese. So what takes our chicken Parm to the next level? A Parm rind simmered in the tomato sauce for richness and an intense cheesy flavor. The finished dish is great on its own or served over pasta or on a hero roll.

This dish is all about the layering: After nestling the seared chicken in half of the sauce, don't cover the entire breast when spooning the remaining sauce over top. You want some of that crust to maintain a crisp texture that will hold onto the melting cheese. Another tip: You can even prepare the dish the night before and refrigerate. The next day you'd just need to pop it in the oven and bake.

To learn more, read "No Parm, No Fowl."

Chicken Parmesan

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the Tomato Sauce:

¼ cup olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

One 28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

¼ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

One 4-inch Parmesan rind

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Chicken Parmesan:

2 cups dry panko

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ cup flour

3 eggs, beaten

4 medium (2 pounds) chicken breasts

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tomato sauce

⅓ cup canola oil

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Thinly sliced basil leaves, for garnish

Directions

1. Make the tomato sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, vinegar, sugar and Parmesan rind, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 25 minutes. Discard the Parmesan rind and, using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until slightly smooth while retaining some texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Make the chicken Parmesan: In a small bowl, whisk together the panko bread crumbs with ¼ cup of the grated Parmesan and the dried oregano. Transfer to a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Transfer the flour and the beaten eggs to shallow dishes as well, then line up the 3 dishes next to each other in the order of flour, eggs and bread crumbs.

3. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. One by one, dredge the chicken breasts in flour, followed by egg and panko, making sure to completely coat each breast. Place chicken breasts on a plate until ready to fry.

4. Preheat the oven to 375° and spread half of the tomato sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then set aside. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts, turning once, until golden brown, 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the prepared pan, then nestle them into the tomato sauce. Pour the remaining half of the tomato sauce over the middle of each breast, making sure to not completely cover all of the breasts with tomato sauce. Layer the mozzarella and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top.

5. Bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Garnish with basil and serve.

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