What’s not to love about chicken parmesan? Juicy chicken breast, spicy marinara sauce and cheese – lots and lots of ooey, gooey cheese! I guess you can call me a chicken parm snob because I am quite picky on how I like it. My No.1 rule is not to drown it in marinara sauce – that makes the chicken soggy and I prefer it to be nice and crispy. You can always have extra marinara on the side for dipping.
For this recipe I use a mixture of panko and Italian bread crumbs. The panko adds a nice crunch, while the Italian bread crumbs adhere to the chicken better. I also use 3 types of cheese — parmesan, provolone and mozzarella — because you can never have too much of that!
I always make enough to be able to have chicken parm subs the next day. Just spread some marinara on a toasted sub roll, add the leftover chicken parmesan and more cheese, and bake. Yum! You are gonna want to have extra napkins on hand.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese (divided into ½ and ¼ cup)
- Dried thyme leaves, to taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 jar (24 oz.) of your favorite marinara sauce (you will have sauce left to use later)
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup provolone cheese, grated
- Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice chicken breasts in half (I put the chicken in the freezer for 20 minutes or so to make it easier to slice.)
Place chicken between wax paper and pound each breast with a rolling pin until it is uniform in size. Season each side with salt and pepper.
Mix together Italian bread crumbs, panko, ½ cup grated parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper.
Dredge each piece of chicken in flour seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Shake off any excess flour. Dip into egg mixture, also seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
Coat with the bread crumb mixture. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken about 2-3 minutes per side, until it starts to turn golden brown. Transfer to a large casserole dish. (I use my Pampered Chef rectangular baker because I love how the stone cooks the chicken evenly and perfectly!)
Evenly spoon about 1/3 cup of the marinara sauce over the chicken breasts.
Sprinkle with the fresh basil. Layer with the mozzarella and provolone cheese. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and each breast has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F. Remove from oven let sit for 5 minutes or so.
Serve with a tossed salad, crusty bread and extra marinara if desired.
The next day, make a delicious chicken parmesan sub like I mentioned earlier. Toast a sub roll and slather it with marinara sauce, add some of the chicken parmesan cut into smaller pieces, and top it with cheese of your choice (I used provolone). Bake in your oven (I use my toaster oven) at 375 degrees F, until the chicken is heated and the cheese has melted. You can serve with extra marinara sauce if desired. Peyton Manning would approve!
Eat, drink and be merry!
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