Baked Chicken Parmesan

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Baked Chicken Parmesan! EASY and quick, chicken cutlets breaded with Parmesan and crumbs, fried, topped with a tomato sauce.

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Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Chicken Parmesan has to be one of the easiest and tastiest ways of preparing chicken, don’t you agree?

In this version we first get started on a simple homemade tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil, and oregano (though you could easily use already prepared sauce).

While the sauce is simmering we take boneless chicken cutlets, breast or thigh meat, dredge them first in a mustardy coating, then in Parmesan tossed breadcrumbs (we like panko), and bake!

By the (short) time the chicken is done, the sauce is perfect.

The trick to cooking the chicken just right is to start with cutlets that are a thin, even thickness, about 1/4 inch. You can buy them this way, or cut whole breasts in half horizontally, then pound them thin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with a mallet or meat hammer.

Updated recipe and photos, first published 2005

Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

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Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (we use Muir-Glen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh basil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Chicken:

  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets (or skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs that have been pounded to a 1/4-inch thickness)
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs (panko or homemade)
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Method

1 Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

Continue to simmer until sauce thickens a bit and flavors meld, about 10-12 minutes. Taste sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary, cover and keep warm.

2 Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil, parchment, or Silpat. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken in the next steps.

3 Make the coating: In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

Add the chicken cutlets to the mixture and coat well on both sides.

4 Dredge the chicken: In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well and stir in the melted butter. Transfer to a shallow plate.

Dredge the chicken pieces in the breadcrumb mixture, gently pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken cutlets. Place dredged chicken on the lined baking sheet.

5 Bake: Bake at 450°F on the center rack of the oven until cooked and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

6 Serve: Serve with a side of rice, noodles or pasta. Ladle sauce with the chicken.

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