For the Beginning Cook…Try This Simple Chicken Parmesan

Simple Chicken Parmesan

Not only is Chicken Parmesan my favorite dish from my childhood, but it’s a family favorite around my house now, too.  It’s also one of the first meals I ever learned to cook on my own, because it’s so simple and yummy.

Today my “little” brother needed an idea for a meal to try cooking.  He admitted, “I only know how to bake a potato.” So, I tried to make these instructions very clear for a beginner.  Feel free to try this one out on your own crew or pass it on to the young bachelor in your own life.

Before we get started, here are a few beginner’s notes:

Avoid Food Poisoning: You can definitely get sick from raw or undercooked chicken.  So, be sure to keep all the raw chicken and the surfaces it touches away from everything else. Use a disinfectant spray or hot soapy water to wash your counter.  Be sure to wash your hands with warm, soapy water immediately after handling.

Preparation: Read over the entire recipe carefully and make sure you understand all the steps before starting. Then, collect all the tools you’ll need.  Here’s what you’ll need:

– plastic wrap
– a heavy pan/glass/or meat mallet (for pounding out the chicken)
– 9×13 cake pan or cookie sheet
– cooking spray or vegetable oil
– two shallow dishes or bowls
– a spoon
– measuring cups

Working Ahead of Time: You can bread the chicken ahead of time and put them in the fridge (for up to a day or so) until you’re ready to cook them. If you do this, set them out on the counter for about 10 minutes before putting them in the oven to take the chill off.

How to Serve: I usually serve this dish with some whole wheat pasta (like angel hair, egg noodles, etc) that has been tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese.  A side salad or steamed veggie and maybe some nice crusty bread would finish it off nicely.

Simple Chicken Parmesan

Serves: 4
From: My mom

Simple Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:

– 4 chicken breasts, pounded out to about 1/2 inch thickness

– salt and pepper

– 1 egg, lightly beaten

– a splash of milk

– 2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (Here is how to make your own breadcrumbs)

– 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

– about 1/2 jar marinara sauce (Here is how to make your own marinara in the crockpot)

– about 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Spray a 9×13 baking dish or pan with cooking spray and set aside.

3) Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap. With flat side of a meat mallet (or the bottom of a heavy pan or glass), pound chicken to about a ½ inch thickness.

4)  Sprinkle the front and back of each chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper.

5) In shallow dish, whisk together egg and splash of milk. In another shallow dish combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

6) Dip chicken breasts, one at a time, in egg mixture, turning to coat. Allow excess to drip off.  Then dip chicken pieces in breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat.  Shake off the excess.

Simple Chicken Parmesan

7) Place breaded chicken in greased 9×13 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until it is no longer pink in the middle or the juices run clear.  (Note: To check doneness, make a small slit in the middle of one chicken breast with a knife and pull open to make sure it is white, not pink.)

8) Top each chicken breast with a spoonful or so of pasta sauce. Spread sauce around the top of each piece of chicken.  Then, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese over the top of each piece, as well.

Simple Chicken Parmesan

9) Put chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Serve warm over pasta.

Simple Chicken Parmesan

 

Chicken Parmesan

Yields: 4 large servings (cut chicken breasts in half to make 8 smaller portions)

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded out to about 1/2 inch thickness
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • a splash of milk
  • 2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (Here is how to make your own breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • about 1 cup of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Spray a 9x13 baking dish or pan with cooking spray (or rub with vegetable oil) and set aside.

3) Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap. With flat side of a meat mallet (or the bottom of a heavy pan or glass), pound chicken to about a ½ inch thickness.

4) Sprinkle the front and back of each chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper.

5) In shallow dish, whisk together egg and splash of milk. In another shallow dish combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

6) Dip chicken breasts, one at a time, in egg mixture, turning to coat. Allow excess to drip off. Then dip chicken pieces in breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Shake off the excess.

7) Place breaded chicken in greased 9x13 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until it is no longer pink in the middle or the juices run clear. (Note: To check doneness, make a small slit in the middle of one chicken breast with a knife and pull open to make sure it is white, not pink.)

8) Top each chicken breast with a spoonful or so of pasta sauce. Spread sauce around the top of each piece of chicken. Then, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese over the top of each piece, as well.

9) Put chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve warm over pasta.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

Bread the chicken and place in a freezer bag or tightly wrapped casserole dish. Separately bag the marinara and cheese and freeze with the breaded chicken. When ready to eat, thaw the meal components in the fridge overnight. Or for a quick defrost method: Thaw chicken in the microwave on the defrost setting. Run the frozen marinara bag under warm water to defrost. Do not defrost the cheese. Then, starting with Step 7, bake the chicken as directed.

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Simple Chicken Parmesan

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Glad to see your blog open again. I got the link from a coworker (Shawn Bender) and have been reading for months. I just made some of your zucchini flax muffins and they were great. I am no stalker but do stop in to check out your amazing food blogs, thanks for sharing! Pam

  2. Rachel says

    Thanks, Pam. So glad you find my blog helpful!

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  6. Sue says

    Never knew it was okay to freeze breaded meat. Make chicken parm all the time. Family favorite thanks for the idea. What do you find is the best packaging for freezing to prevent freezer burn?
    Thanks. Sue

    • Rachel says

      I use the Gladware Ovenware because they stack nicely in the freezer. But, to prevent freezer burn make sure to cover the surface of the food within the pan with foil or plastic wrap and then put the lid on. Sometimes I even tape the lid down if it isn’t closing tightly. You can also use glass pans that have lids, but again just make sure the food is sealed off from air with the foil or plastic wrap.

  7. nicole says

    Hello, I am going to make this recipe this week it looks delicious! How should I reheat the chicken parm after I freeze it?

    • Rachel says

      Nicole, I’m sorry to just now be getting back to you. To freeze this, package the uncooked, breaded chicken separate from the sauce and cheese. When ready to cook, thaw in the fridge over night (or in the microwave on defrost setting). Then, bake according to directions and add sauce and cheese at the end according to directions. I hope that helps!

  8. Leta says

    Love these recipes and hope to make some this week. BUT I want to print them to save, and several do not have a print function. How do I print these in a readable format without all the pictures? Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      Hi Leta, thanks for the heads up on this recipe. Some of these are my older ones that I moved over from my old blog. I still need to go through many of them and update them with a print function. I’ll add that to the to-do. So sorry!

  9. Gretchen says

    Can you add the print option to this wonderful recipe? Thanks!

  10. Tricia says

    I’ve heard that it is not healthy to thaw chicken and then re freeze it. Is this true? Most of the chicken I buy is already frozen?…

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