Quick Chicken Parmesan

I love chicken, especially chicken coated in crisp, panko breadcrumbs.  Well, this Quick Chicken Parmesan recipe from Fine Cooking October/November 2010 issue will not disappoint.  The crisp chicken cutlets are topped with two cheeses (Parmesan and mozzarella) and a super-fast tomato sauce in this easy take on an Italian restaurant favorite.  I love how this recipe can be made and served in under 30 minutes, and it’s friendly on your budget too!
My husband loved this new recipe, so we will be making this on a weekly or every other week basis.  Enjoy!
In a shallow dish, combine salt, pepper, and flour.
Beat eggs with one tablespoon of water in a second shallow dish.
In the third shallow dish, prepare panko breadcrumbs.
Dip chicken cutlets in flour, egg, and panko, and heat in a saute’ pan over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or almost cooked through.
Prepare baking sheet with foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Transfer chicken to baking sheet and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
Layer with thin layers of mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 425 degrees F. for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce.  Cook onion and garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until onion is tender and lightly browned.  Pour in tomatoes and salt, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes and thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve sauce over chicken.  Can also serve the chicken parmesan over cooked spaghetti.

Quick Parmesan Chicken
Nonstick cooking spray
2 1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) unbleached, all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (about 14 oz.)
5 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (use the small holes of a box grater)
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes (preferably Muir Glen fire-roasted crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped (1/2 oz.)

1.  Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix the flour and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a wide, shallow dish.  In a second, wide shallow dish, lightly beat the eggs with 1 Tbsp. water.  Put the panko in a third wide, shallow dish.  Season the chicken with salt and coat each piece in the flour, tapping off the excess, then the egg, and then the panko, pressing the panko to help it adhere.
3.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in two batches, cook the chicken, flipping once, until the crumbs are golden, and the chicken is almost cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adding 2 tablespoons more oil for the second batch.  Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle the chicken with the Parmigiano and then top evenly with the mozzarella.  Bake until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, wipe the skillet clean and set over medium heat.  Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and then add the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the sauce over the chicken.

Serves:  4
Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2010

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