A simple chicken breast encrusted with bread crumbs, parmesan and herbs can make a quick and scrumptious evening meal. As to the herbs, pick those you enjoy most. That’s what individualizes the flavor. Ina Garten uses no herbs at all; she lets the parmesan and lemon carry the load.
You can also Romanize this dish. Just place a few spoonsful of spaghetti sauce atop a chicken breast and a slice of Mozzarella. Place in warm oven until cheese melts. Martha does a video of her baked chicken parmesan in which she adds cheese and tomato sauce.
Although the recipe below is for a stove top chicken parmesan, I baked one of the chicken breasts for comparison. It didn’t photograph quite as well, but it was more moist than the skillet version and the exterior was nearly as crunchy. I baked it in a heavily oiled dish at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes on each side.
I should note that Straubs sells a prepared version of Chicken Parm that’s quite good. But sometimes you want the pleasure of making a simple, comfort food yourself. It’s part of the comfort.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs. water
- 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, or chives
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds), pounded 1/4″-thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbs. oil (half vegetable; half olive oil)
- Line up three bowls. Put flour in the first bowl; beat eggs in the second; and mix Panko, parmesan, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs in the third bowl.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breast in flour and shake off excess , leaving a light coating. Dip the chicken in the egg/water mixture and coat evenly, allowing excess egg to drip away. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat well. Press lightly.
- Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook for about 2 minutes per side or till golden brown. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
Kitchen Notes: For best results, be sure to pound chicken breasts to 1/4″ thickness. Better yet, buy thin-cut chicken breast fillets. You can also freeze the uncooked, breaded pieces for a quick meal some other time.