Ed used to order chicken parmigiana in restaurants all the time. He hasn’t ordered it since I started making it at home a few years ago. If you want a healthier version, coat the chicken breasts with just one layer of bread crumbs and simply bake the breaded chicken in the oven first. Be sure not to overcook it. Then add the sauce and cheese and throw it back into the oven until the cheese melts.
Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
makes 4 large pieces
4 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts that have been pounded thin using a rolling pin or a meat mallet – these pieces can be quite large so feel free to cut them in half (another option is to cut 2 chicken breasts in half to yield 4 thin chicken breasts; if you do this, slightly decrease the amount of flour, eggs, and bread crumbs)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups plain dried bread crumbs
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
8 slices mozzarella or enough to cover the breasts (fresh, preferably)
1 cup tomato sauce + pinch of red pepper flakes to taste if you’d like (you will need more sauce if you are making pasta as well)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (you will need more if you are making pasta as well) (I use a Microplane coarse grater)
handful of chopped parsley or basil (optional for garnish)
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the flour in a shallow dish and mix in a large pinch of salt and black pepper. In a wide mouthed bowl, combine the eggs and water and mix well. In another shallow dish, mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder, a large pinch of salt and black pepper. Work with one breast at a time. Cover both sides of the chicken breasts in the flour. Then coat both sides in the egg and let the excess drip off. Then cover both sides of the chicken breast in the bread crumbs. Optional: Repeat with the egg and bread crumb steps so each piece of chicken has two layers of bread crumbs. Note: when coating the chicken, designate one hand for the dry steps and one hand for the wet steps – this will prevent your dry ingredients from getting lumpy. If your hands get goopy, wash your hands, dry them, and continue. If this happens, you may need extra flour and/or bread crumbs.
In a large skillet, over medium high heat, generously coat the skillet with vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the cutlets. Immediately turn the heat down to medium and fry for 3 to 5 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the chicken) until golden and crunchy, turning once. I suggest using a splatter screen. Do not overcook the chicken. If your pan is too small, cook the chicken in two batches. When done, place the chicken breasts onto a rack in a baking sheet. Spoon some tomato sauce over the top of each piece. Then place slices of mozzarella on the top of each chicken breast in a way that you can still see a ring of tomato sauce around the mozzarella. Sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Sprinkle some fresh parsley or basil on top and serve hot. This is most often served with spaghetti in tomato sauce and salad.