Chicken Parmesan is a delicious, hearty, and satisfying dish that has won the hearts of food lovers all around the world. With its golden, crispy breaded chicken, tangy tomato sauce, and gooey melted cheese, it’s the perfect comfort food to enjoy with family and friends. This classic Italian-American dish may appear daunting to create, but with this step-by-step guide, you will learn the secrets to making a scrumptious Chicken Parmesan that’s as delightful to behold as it is to eat.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups Marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Preparing the Chicken: Begin by preheating the oven to 400°F (200°C). To prepare the chicken breasts, season them evenly with salt and pepper on both sides. If you want the chicken breasts to fry more evenly and cook faster, you can pound them to a uniform thickness using a meat mallet.
2. Breading the Chicken: Next, create a breading station by placing the flour, beaten eggs, and a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese in three separate shallow dishes. Start by dredging the seasoned chicken breasts in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the floured chicken into the beaten eggs and finally, press the coated chicken into the breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture. Make sure that each piece is fully and evenly breaded.
3. Frying the Chicken: In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat. Being cautious not to overcrowd the pan, carefully place the breaded chicken breasts into the hot oil. Fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until they’re crispy and golden brown. After frying, place the chicken breasts on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
4. Assembling the Chicken Parmesan: Now, transfer the fried chicken to a baking sheet. Cover each piece of chicken with a generous portion of Marinara sauce and top each with a liberal amount of shredded mozzarella cheese. This will create that perfect, cheesy layer that Chicken Parmesan is known for.
5. Baking and Serving: Finally, place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Once done, remove from the oven and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes. Right before serving, garnish each piece with fresh basil leaves for a pop of color and an extra burst of flavor.
History and Curiosities:
Chicken Parmesan, also known as Chicken Parmigiana, draws its origins from the traditional Italian dish called Melanzane alla Parmigiana or Eggplant Parmigiana. This classic Southern Italian dish made with breaded and fried eggplant, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese has been enjoyed since the Middle Ages. Its first renditions were most likely made without tomatoes, as they were not introduced to Europe until the 16th century.
This Italian-American version of Chicken Parmesan was created by Italian immigrants in the United States during the 20th century. The chicken replaced eggplant as the main ingredient, and mozzarella cheese was added to the Parmesan cheese, creating that delightful stretchy texture that defines the dish today.
In Australia, Chicken Parmigiana has become a popular pub food, often served with salad and chips. Its multinational appeal is a testament to how a simple yet scrumptious dish can travel and evolve, leaving a lasting impact on food culture around the world.
Now that you know the rich history and delicious secrets of Chicken Parmesan, you’re well-equipped to recreate this mouthwatering culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen. Enjoy!