Chicken Parmesan

Robin grew up with chicken cutlets, but Nanny never made them “parmesan-style”, that is, baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella, since Gramps does not care for mozzarella on a cutlet. We, on the other hand, love this classic dish. We use Panko crumbs and pan-fry the chicken before baking which helps it to remain crispy as well as stay moist and tender when we bake them with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.

Servings and Times

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

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We start off by preparing the coating for the chicken cutlets. We will use “standard breading procedure” to coat the chicken. On a plate we place a piece of wax paper and pour on the flour. We add some salt and pepper to taste. In a bowl we lightly beat the eggs with the water. We add the minced garlic. On another plate we place another piece of wax paper with the bread crumbs and mix these with the fresh herbs. We grate about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese with our microplane and mix this as well into the crumbs. We could have added a lot more parmesan to the bread crumbs, but we opt to serve the cheese with the finished dish. We also get two other plates ready to place the breaded cutlets.

We place a sheet of wax paper over our “raw meat” cutting board and get another piece of wax paper ready. We also get ready our meat pounder. We remove the chicken from the fridge and rinse the three big pieces. We trim them of fat and then butterfly them. One at a time, we pound them between sheets of wax paper until they are thin, about 1/3 inch, and then cut each one in half. We end up with 8 pieces of chicken since a couple of small tenderloin pieces pull off.

We place each cutlet first into the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally the bread crumbs. We have just enough of the flour, eggs, and crumbs. We refrigerate the coated cutlets for about a half hour to allow the coating to better adhere.

Meanwhile, we pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large frying pan, we heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil with a third of the butter over medium heat. When hot, we add two large pieces and 1 small piece of the cutlets. We pan-fry for 2 minutes, turning when the bottom is nicely brown. We continue to cook on the other side for another couple of minutes and then we drain on a paper-towel-lined clean plate. We repeat with the remaining chicken until all of the pieces are nicely browned.

Meanwhile, we heat the sauce in the microwave in a large measuring cup until hot. We pour the sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch glass baking pan. Into this pan, we add the browned chicken pieces after they have been patted dry on the paper-towel-lined plate. We top with the 8 slices of mozzarella and a sprinkling of some more grated cheese.

We place the pan in the oven and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. The chicken was only browned in the frying pan, it still needs to cook through. We want the chicken cooked through, the cheese melted, and the sauce bubbling. We do a little “nick and peek” check and a firmness check and then turn on the broiler. To brown the cheese, we put the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

We remove the chicken parm from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. We serve right out of the pan with the rest of the wedge of parmesan to freshly grate on top.

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