Start to Finish: 1 hour Servings: 4 Difficulty: Beginner
Crispy chicken cutlets, hearty marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses form the foundation of this main dish. The secret to truly great chicken Parmesan is high-quality ingredients, so don't skimp on the good stuff -- cheese, veggies and chicken -- if you really want to wow your dinner guests.
- 4 6-ounce boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup parsley flakes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic
- 1 gallon can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup minced basil
- 1/4 cup minced oregano
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1 1/2 pulls table salt
- 1 1/2 pounds pasta of your choice
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 2 sheets parchment paper
- Kitchen mallet
- Meat thermometer
Prepare the Chicken
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place each chicken breast between sheets of parchment paper. Use the kitchen mallet to pound each breast to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
Coat each breast in flour. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until thoroughly beaten, then dip each breast into the egg, taking care to cover the entire breast.
In a separate bowl, combine the Parmesan and dried parsley and mix thoroughly, then coat each chicken breast thickly in the mixture.
Pan-fry each chicken breast until both sides are golden brown, then place all four breasts in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Make the Sauce
In a medium saute pan, combine olive oil and chopped garlic. Saute until garlic is golden brown.
In a 6-quart saucepan, combine tomatoes, basil, oregano, black pepper and salt. Stir. Add the olive oil and garlic mixture. Stir.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and allow to simmer.
Cook the Pasta
In a large saucepan, bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and a pinch of salt. Stir immediately, then every few minutes. Cook until pasta reaches desired tenderness. Drain excess water.
Assemble the Chicken Parmesan
Place one chicken breast on each plate. Top with a dollop of sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Add about 6 ounces of cooked pasta to each plate. Top with sauce. Serve immediately.
Keep the sauce and chicken hot until just before ready to serve. The heat from both will help melt the cheese.
Stir the pasta while cooking at regular intervals to keep it from sticking to the pan.
If you prefer a non-pasta side, a bed of sauteed spinach or roasted vegetables drizzled with Italian dressing can make an excellent substitution.
You may substitute deep-frying for pan-frying, if you prefer, or simply bake the chicken. If you choose to bake the chicken breasts, you do not have to pound them. Instead, after breading, bake them at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until their internal temperature is 165 degrees, then allow the meat to "rest" for five minutes after removing them from the oven.
Chicken that is not fully cooked poses a risk of salmonella. Verify that your chicken is cooked to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recommended temperature before serving.
Kate Bradley began writing professionally in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in German from Berry College in Rome, Ga; TEFL/TESOL certification from ITC International in Prague; and a Master of Arts in integrated global communication from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.