While I have been making mostly Freezer to Slow Cooker meals, I haven’t given up cooking and baking altogether! I made this next recipe for the birthday weekend that my family celebrated the last weekend of September, and again a couple of weeks later. It was a big hit with my entire family, including my mother, Daughter Number One and her boyfriend. They were all here to help celebrate. The second time I made it we also had company. A friend of Daughter Number 2’s from college came home for the weekend, so I made this again. She said she had never had Chicken Parmigiana before, but this would be what she based all others on. WOW!
When I was growing up, my father was a more adventurous cook than my mother. He loved to try new things. He made Eggplant Parmigiana several times, and I always liked it. He used ‘cracker meal’, crushed up saltine crackers, as his breading. I chose a different breading and think that it is the key to this amazing recipe!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in halves
- 4-6 slices whole wheat or white bread
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 2-6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs, or 4 large egg whites, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 cup marinara (spaghetti sauce)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut and wash chicken breasts. If they seem thicker in some areas, pound thin. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
In food processor pulse bread until coarse, about eight 1-second pulses. Pour crumbs onto a baking pan. Add garlic, 1 Tablespoon oil. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Add in parsley.
In a large low sided bowl (I use a pie pan) combine flour, salt and pepper. In another dish, beat eggs and water. Place the cooled bread crumbs in a third dish. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons oil in a large non-stick skillet. Dip one chicken breast at a time into the flour mixture, tapping to remove excess. You want a light coating, not a heavy one. Then dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture, turning to coat. Allow excess to drip off. Next dredge the chicken into the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat. Add the coated chicken breast to the hot oil in the skillet. Do this for all of the chicken. Cook until browned and turn. When both sides are browned and crisp, remove onto the baking pan you used for the bread crumbs. Place pan into the heated oven. When browning the chicken breasts in the skillet do not overcrowd. You can use multiple pans, or do this in batches. Be sure to add fresh oil between batches, and heat the oil to near smoking before adding the chicken. Do not leave the chicken in the skillet too long or it will become greasy.
Top the chicken breasts on the baking pan with a few Tablespoons of marinara, a thin slice of mozzarella, and about 1/2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan. Return the chicken to the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, 7-10 minutes.
Remove the chicken onto a platter, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve over thin spaghetti. Have extra marinara available, and some crusty Italian bread!
Now I’m hungry!
I almost always serve Italian food with a big green salad and green beans, too. I like to make green beans (fresh or canned) in the oven and add some almonds or pecans.
This recipe isn’t hard, but it is somewhat time consuming. That’s why it works well for weekend meals! Well, and it also makes a lot of dishes!
I hope you enjoy this little morsel as much as we did!