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
From: My mom
- 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
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- about 1/2 jar marinara sauce
- about 1 cup mozzarella cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Spray a 9×13 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 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.
9) Put chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve warm over pasta.