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Chicken Parmesan – Better than a Restaurant | WednesdayNightCafe.com

Chicken Parmesan – Better than a Restaurant

With tender chicken, crispy breading, and a browned cheesy topping, this chicken parmesan you can make at home is better than anything from a restaurant.
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
+ Marinating time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6
Author Tara Leung

Ingredients

Chicken Parmesan

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness, cut in half
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 5 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • canola oil for frying
  • 2 ounces shredded parmesan cheese (plus more to top your pasta with)
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Mascarpone Marinara Sauce

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans San Marzano (or other) peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

Instructions

Chicken Parmesan

  1. Rub minced garlic and salt and pepper over chicken breasts. Place in a large bowl or a baking dish. Mix 1 cup milk with yogurt and pour over the chicken. Move chicken around to get as much as possible coated with the yogurt mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Leave to marinate 1 to 24 hours.
  2. If you are making the sauce from scratch, skip below to Mascarpone Marinara Sauce and begin making your sauce before returning to step 3 here to start making the chicken.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Set up 3 rimmed plates or shallow bowls for your breading station. Put the flour in the first bowl. Crack eggs into the second bowl and beat together with 2 tablespoons milk. In the third bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs, dried basil, dried parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons milk. Place an empty sheet pan or 2 at the end of the line.
  5. Remove chicken from milk and shake off excess liquid. (Dump the marinade.) Bread chicken 1 piece at a time. First, place it in the flour on both sides and gently shake off the excess. Next, dip into the egg mixture, and same thing, gently shake off excess egg. Lastly, dip into the breadcrumb mixture to coat with breadcrumbs. You can use your hand to push some of the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to help it stick. Place breaded chicken on sheet pan. Continue until all chicken is breaded. It helps to have a small bowl of water on the counter to dip your hands into between each piece of chicken, to keep the egg and breadcrumbs from sticking to your fingers.
  6. Line a plate or sheet pan with 2 layers of paper towels. Pour oil into a large cast iron skillet until you have roughly ¼ inch of oil in the skillet. If you have an exhaust in your kitchen, turn that on. Heat oil over medium-high heat. You can tell when the oil is hot enough by dropping in a breadcrumb and seeing if it sizzles. Use a fork or metal spatula or tongs to gently place chicken into the pan, in a single layer. (You will fry the chicken in multiple batches. Don’t try to fit it in all at once.) Cook until the bottom is a golden brown, about 3 minutes. Then flip over and cook until the second side is browned, about 3 more minutes. Once the second side has cooked, remove chicken from pan and place on paper towel-lined plate. Use a spider to remove any breadcrumb pieces that might have fallen off from the oil. (Otherwise they may get stuck to the chicken in your next batch and burn.) Continue until all chicken is cooked. Add a layer of paper towels to your plate between each layer of chicken to soak up excess oil. (If you want this step to go faster, you could heat oil in a second skillet to fry 2 batches at once. I did 3 batches in a single skillet.) Troubleshooting: If your chicken is not browning in 3 minutes, the oil is not hot enough. If you are running out of oil in the pan because the chicken soaked up a lot, your oil is not hot enough. Turn the heat up a notch and wait for oil to get hotter before doing your next batch of chicken. Alternatively, if the breading gets very dark brown or burns, lower heat and wait a few minutes for oil to cool down before adding more chicken. If all this is making you nervous, try frying just 1 small piece of chicken cutlet first as a test.
  7. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange chicken in baking dish with as little overlap as the size of your dish allows. (You could use 2 baking dishes if needed to keep everything in a single layer.) I don’t like to add too much sauce during baking because I like the chicken to stay crispy. We just did all this work frying it. With too much sauce, it can get soggy. I put a few spoonfuls of sauce over each piece of chicken, spreading it out from the center of the cutlet with the back of spoon, keeping the edges sauce-less. Toss shredded parmesan and shredded mozzarella together in a bowl. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over chicken. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted. Turn broiler on to high and broil 1-2 minutes, watching closely the whole time, until cheese is brown and bubbly.
  8. Garnish with whole basil leaves or sprinkle with fresh chopped basil. Serve with pasta and heated sauce on the side.

Mascarpone Marinara Sauce

  1. Puree 1 can of the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until smooth. Roughly chop the tomatoes in the other can. (If you prefer a smooth sauce, puree both cans.)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste and stir to mix. Add wine. Scrape any browned garlic bits off the bottom of the pan. Add all tomatoes, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is simmering, you can start making the chicken from Step 3 under Chicken Parmesan above. If 25 minutes has passed and you’re not ready for the sauce yet, just keep it on the stove on very low heat. It will only get better being cooked longer.
  4. When you’re ready to use the sauce, remove from heat. Add mascarpone cheese and stir until cheese is melted and incorporated. Taste and add more salt or pepper as needed.