Mucho Gusto

A Simple and Sophisticated Chicken Parmesan

To me, there is something special about a well-executed chicken parmesan. While it’s pretty good no matter how you make it, putting in a little extra effort and paying attention to the details really takes it to the next level. This recipe may be a little more involved than a normal recipe, but it only uses ingredients and equipment that I expect a normal home cook to possess. If you have an hour or so to prepare dinner, I implore you to make this, as I think it highlights all of what makes this dish amazing: crispy, juicy chicken, melted cheese, and a savory tomato sauce served over pasta. 

Chicken Parmesan and Sauce Recipe (serves 4):


Chicken Parmesan: 

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups  flour

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 4.5 ounces or one can of tomato paste
  • 28 ounce can of tomato sauce, or blended whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 ounces white wine or 4 ounces water with a splash of white balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh basil (optional)

2 cups vegetable oil or light olive oil

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into slices


Sauce: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions, and allow them to sweat for five minutes, then add the garlic. After one minute, add the tomato paste and the red pepper flakes. After cooking for two minutes, deglaze the sauce with white wine or water with white balsamic vinegar. After adding the tomato sauce/blended tomatoes and basil, allow everything to simmer until the chicken is ready. The sauce should be thick, otherwise it will spill over the chicken and make it soggy.

Fried Chicken: Begin by cutting the chicken breasts along the long side almost to the end, being sure not to cut it all the way through. Unfold the chicken breast and pound it flat using either a meat mallet or a rolling pin, and use plastic wrap to ensure sanitation. Next, prepare a breading station for the butterflied chicken breasts. Prepare three plates: one with plain flour, one with beaten eggs, and the last with the breadcrumbs, spices, and parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken in the flour and dust off the excess. Then coat it in the egg wash and allow the excess to drip off. Finally coat it with breadcrumbs, ensuring that the chicken is fully covered. Place the chicken on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. I suggest breading all of the chicken before frying it. To fry, heat two cups of oil on medium heat in a wide pan. Then, place one piece of chicken and allow it to fry until golden brown. Place it on a fresh baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Once all the chicken is fried, cover the center of each piece with sauce and two slices of mozzarella cheese. Do not cover the entirety with sauce; by leaving the edges bare, you ensure that some bites remain crispy. Place under a broiler until the mozzarella is melted and begins to brown. Garnish with basil, freshly grated parmesan, and serve over sauced pasta. I like to add sauce on the side, which allows me to add sauce to each bite.

Cover photo courtesy of Salt and Lavender


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