Breaded chicken breasts, moist and juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside, baked with thick luscious flavorful tomato sauce bubbling underneath, topped with mozzarella and parmigiano-reggiano.
Created in America, this mouth watering dish has Italian roots and is a derivation of its cousin Melanzana alla Parmigiana, or Eggplant Parmesan. It is usually served over a bed of spaghetti with a side of greens. I sometimes serve it on a rustic toasted kaiser for a delectable sandwich.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large eggs
1 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 tsp dry thyme
4 cups basic tomato sauce (recipe)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
Spaghetti pasta to serve
Fresh Parsely to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with oil.
- Slice the chicken breast horizontally to get two thinner cutlets. Season these with salt and pepper. Dust with flour to coat evenly on both sides. Tap off any excess flour.
- In a large bowl combine panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano and thyme. In a separate bowl crack open the egg, add 2-3 tbsp milk and beat till yolk and white are combined.
- Dip the coated chicken cutlets in egg mixture and then dredge them in the panko mixture. Press down to ensure even coating.
- Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan to a smoking high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sear both sides for a minute each till lightly golden. Do not over crowd the pan. Do this in batches.
- Place the seared chicken on the baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, till it reaches an internal temperature of 160 F. Remove from the oven.
- Pour half the tomato sauce evenly in a casserole dish. Place the cooked chicken breasts carefully on the sauce. Spoon the rest of the sauce on the chicken, sprinkle with mozzerella cheese and top with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano if you want.
- Bake again till the sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted and turned lightly golden brown. this may take another 15 minutes.
- Serve over a bed of spaghetti sprinkled with fresh parsley OR inside a toasted kaiser bun sprinkled with red pepper flakes.