A lot of people have a recipe they keep up their sleeves. Its typically a casserole or a meatloaf… something they can just throw together quickly on a weeknight without thinking. I never really knew I had one until I decided to make a chicken parmesan. To be fair, I didn’t really decide that I wanted to make chicken parmesan. In fact the conversation with my best friend went something along the lines of this.
Me: “I really want eggplant parmesan. Too bad theres no eggplant…”
Jerry: “Don’t you have chicken…”
Me: “Thats not eggplant”
Jerry: “Its chicken… I love chicken”
And thus chicken parmesan was on the menu for dinner. In his defense, I didn’t really care what we ate for dinner. The whole concept of chicken parmesan just didn’t cross my mind, I just wanted something that I could throw together. That was what I received.
Chicken breasts are briefly tenderized with a cast iron skillet (or anything heavy really), that I later used to cook them in. They are then dredged in flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumbs, After being briefly crusted in a pan, pasta sauce and cheese join the crowd and the whole pan is sent in a preheated oven to simmer into deliciousness.
If the cast iron skillet you’re working with isn’t thoroughly seasoned I highly recommend using a foil lined pan, an enamel dish or something that isn’t cast iron by itself. Chances are, iron could leech into the acidic tomato sauce and bad things could happen. I was lucky that the pan I was using has withheld some pretty serious beating–I was just too lazy to transfer the chicken to another dish.
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 can, your favorite pasta sauce
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
- Parmesan Cheese
- preheat oven to 350 F.
- Wrap chicken breasts gently in plastic wrap and beat the chicken until flattened, about 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Line three plates up. In the first plate, add flour with a dash of salt and pepper. On the second plate, add the beaten egg. On the third plate, add the bread crumbs, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano. Mix the spices to combine.
- Dredge the flattened chicken by coating it in flour, dipping it in the beaten egg, and then coating with the seasoned bread crumbs.
- In a large skillet, heat up 1 Tbsp of oil (I used olive oil) over medium high heat. Fry the dredged chicken for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip and repeat.
- If you’re making this in a cast iron or enamel skillet, add the pasta sauce to the pan. If you are doing this in a separate baking dish, transfer the chicken to the baking dish and cover with the pasta sauce. Cover with the shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle parmesan over, lightly covering the mozzarella.
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers the chicken to have reached 165F. Serve with a side of pasta and a extra sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan.