Chicken Parmesan

Serves 4


For the Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 6-8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 (28 oz each) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

For the Chicken

  • 3 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 oz (about ¾ cup) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 (6-7 oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼" canola or soybean oil in 10-12" pan
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (¼ cup per chicken breast)

To Serve

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil leaves to garnish


  • immersion blender
  • meat tenderizer
  • deep-fry/candy thermometer
  • 10-12" frying pan
  • tongs


Make Tomato Sauce

  1. In a medium pot, heat oil at medium-low heat
  2. Add garlic and cook until it is a light gold color, and slightly soft, about 2 minutes. You can tell that it has softened if it smashes against the side of the pot inside the pan
  3. Add basil, and heat about 30 seconds to allow the oil to pick up the flavor of the basil
  4. Add tomatoes to the oil away from you (so the oil doesn’t splash and splatter), and stir to combine ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Raise heat to bring sauce up to a boil. Once at a boil, purée the mixture with an immersion (stick) blender, or by pulsing in a food processor. Blending the sauce at this point keeps it from turning pink
  6. Bring the sauce back to a simmer, and allow it to cook over medium to medium-low heat for 1 hour (more or less) to desired thickness

Mix Breading & Prep Chicken

  1. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, dried basil, oregano, pinch of black pepper, salt, Parmesan cheese, and set aside
  2. Trim chicken breasts of fat and bone (if not purchased already done)
  3. Lay cutting board with a damp towel underneath so it will not slip
  4. Place a layer of plastic wrap out on your cutting board, and lay chicken on top, skin-side-up (where the skin used to be). Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of chicken
  5. Pound thickest part of the breasts until the entire breast is the same desired thickness

Bread, Fry & Bake Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Fill a 10-12” frying pan with ¼” of soybean or canola oil and bring to 325º over medium heat
  3. Combine salt with the flour in a medium bowl
  4. Whisk together eggs and milk in a medium bowl
  5. Set flour, egg mixture and breadcrumb mixture in an assembly line close to the hot oil
  6. Dip each chicken breast first in flour, then egg wash (allowing excess to drip off), then in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat completely
  7. Place carefully in oil and cook 2-4 minutes per side, one breast at a time. You want a nice golden-brown color along the edges
  8. Transfer fried chicken to a sheet pan and repeat with remaining chicken breasts. While these are cooking, start a pot of water to boil so that you can drop your pasta when the chicken goes in the oven
  9. Once all chicken breasts are on the sheet pan, ladle each piece with sauce to cover completely, and top each with about ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  10. Place in the oven and bake 7-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted, bubbly and browned

Cook Pasta, Plate & Serve

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Once pasta is cooked and drained, and chicken is out of the oven, place the pasta back into the pot and toss with a little sauce before plating
  3. Portion pasta onto plates. Top with more sauce
  4. Serve chicken next to the pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil