Whenever we have Chicken Parm at my house, I think of the night Evan proposed to me. I was at work, and working late, and he spend the entire day preparing dinner. There was a ton of food, so after the proposal I asked why he had made such an elaborate spread. He said that he was nervous the whole day, and so he just kept making things to keep his hands busy. He’s sweet, my Evan.
I don’t know that we’d ever made it at home previously, but now Chicken Parm is on regular rotation at our house. We bake the chicken, instead of frying it, and we make our marinara from scratch, so it’s a kind of healthy take on it. There are a lot of steps, but I’d still argue that this is a pretty easy dish to put together. And nostalgic. So, it’s a win for us.
Easy Chicken Parm
- 28 oz whole tomatoes (san marzano really do taste the best, but I’m not above the grocery store brand)
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat and pounded to about ½ inch thickness
- 1 egg beaten with ¼ cup cream
- 1 cup bread crumbs, panko or traditional
- Salt and pepper
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ lb pasta, whatever shape you like, cooked to al dente
For the sauce:
Heat the pan to medium-low heat, and drizzle in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the onions for about five minutes, until they are softened and a bit translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for about a minute. Add the can of tomatoes, season with plenty of salt and pepper, and cook on low heat with a lid for about five minutes. After five minutes, the tomatoes should be soft enough to crush with a fork or a potato masher. If you really need chunk-free sauce, you can either use pureed tomatoes, or purée yourself with an immersion blender. Keep on low with a lid on until you are ready to use the sauce.
For the chicken:
Heat the oven to 375, and prepare a baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, so the heat can circulate under the chicken. Scramble the egg with cream and set aside. In another bowl, season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper and set aside. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken first in the egg mixture, then in the crumbs- be sure to really get a good coat of crumbs all over the surface. Place the breaded chicken on the cooling rack on the baking sheet, and repeat with other two pieces. Bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. When the chicken is cooked through, cover with shredded mozz and return to the oven for a minute or two, so the cheese is melted.
First, divide the pasta between three plates. Ladle sauce over the pasta, and op each plate with a piece of chicken. At this point, every person that I cook for will add other seasonings as desired- it might be hot sauce, or pesto, or more cheese, or red pepper flakes. Everyone’s a chef when it comes to seasoning 🙂 Enjoy!