This is no doubt everyone’s favorite Italian-American meal. Just the mention of Chicken Parmigiana makes your mouth water.
What makes our recipe standout is the homemade sauce, which we also highlighted in our Baked Penne With Sausage recipe, and how thin we like our chicken cutlets to be.
Preparing the Chicken
Our recipe is head-and-shoulders above the rest, due to the fact that we use chicken cutlets cut as thin as possible. Our butcher is happy to fill our request for them when we ask. However, if you prefer thicker cutlets, that’s okay, too.
The raw chicken is first marinated in a mixture of eggs, parsley and Romano cheese. Then, it’s dredged in breadcrumbs with adobo, garlic powder, more Romano cheese and more parsley. For the breadcrumbs, use 4C brand breadcrumbs. We have tried others and 4C’s are unmatched.
Lightly fry the cutlets two or three at a time, until golden brown.
To cut the mozzarella cheese, use Cutco’s Traditional Cheese Knife, which is designed to easily slice through soft or hard cheeses.
Cut the mozzarella to about a half-inch thick for extra gooey results.
Putting the Parmigiana Together
To prepare for baking, layer some sauce onto the bottom of a large baking pan. Lay the cutlets down in a single layer on top of the sauce.
Dab more sauce on top of each cutlet then top them with a slice of the mozzarella. Add a little more sauce to the top of the cutlets and top with grated Romano cheese.
When it comes to the sauce, homemade is our preference, but if you use jarred sauce, there’s a way to ramp up the flavor. We have found that sautéing some garlic and onion and adding salt and pepper to it makes it just as good. For the store-bought sauce, use one-and-a-half jars of 24-ounce marinara sauce.
Mauro likes it when a couple of the chicken cutlets are slightly burned, so we intentionally overcook a few for him. Holy deliciousness.
This Chicken Parmigiana is a savory person’s dream dish as it’s bursting with flavor from the tasty sauce, paper thin cutlets and fresh cheese.
For the homemade sauce or use 1-1/2 jars (24-ounce jar) of marinara sauce:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, whole
- 4 28-ounce cans crushed tomato
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 fresh basil leaves
For the main dish:
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped and divided
- 1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated, to be mixed in with egg mixture
- 2 pounds of chicken cutlets, thinly sliced
- 2 cups 4C brand seasoned breadcrumbs
- Sprinkle of adobo
- Sprinkle of garlic powder
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated, to be mixed in with breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying, enough to cover skillet
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Romano grated cheese, to sprinkle on top
- Salt and pepper, to taste (I never add it because the seasoning is amazing)
Make the sauce:
- In a large pot over medium heat, add oil.
- Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook down for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and fresh basil. Stir and reduce heat to low. Simmer while preparing the rest of the dish.
Make the main dish:
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Crack eggs into a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons fresh parsley and Romano cheese. Beat together.
- Add raw chicken cutlets to egg mixture and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
- In a second large bowl add breadcrumbs, adobo, garlic powder, a half-cup of Romano grated cheese and 2 tablespoons fresh parsley.
- Remove the cutlets from the egg mixture one at a time and dredge through the breadcrumb mixture to completely coat.
- After breading the cutlets, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly fry 2 or 3 cutlets on each side for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Once the cutlets are fried, place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat the process until all the cutlets are fried.
- In a large baking pan, line the bottom of the pan with the sauce. Lay the chicken cutlets down in the sauce and dab additional sauce onto each cutlet. Top each cutlet with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Top each cutlet with additional sauce and grated Romano cheese.
- Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the mozzarella cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve.