Crispy chicken parmesan with a quick and easy homemade tomato sauce.
Chicken parm is a favorite at our family table. I like to serve it up for Sunday night dinner with fresh pasta and a simple side salad or sautéed veggies. It’s a comfort food that never gets old. When I’m lucky enough to have leftovers, this dish makes a great lunch for my kids or as an after school boost when we’re on our way to sports activities.
The trick to this dish is coating the chicken in flour first, then egg and breadcrumbs. Those three steps will create the delicious, crispy crust you’re craving. To change things up, you can use almond flour but I find that the crust isn’t quite as deliciously crispy as panko.
A quick homemade tomato sauce is the highlight in this simple supper. No need for store-bought sauce when a homemade sauce is this easy to make. It gives the whole dish a fresh flavor that keeps people coming back for more. I use leeks instead of onions for a milder flavor that my kids love.
You can assemble this dish up to 1 day ahead and then bake to serve. Just remember, it will take a little longer to heat up if it has been refrigerated.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped leeks
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups tomato puree
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 3-ounce thin chicken cutlets
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
- Extra virgin olive oil for frying
- ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- To make the tomato sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and oregano to the pan and sauté until the leek is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked down, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To make the cutlets: Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish, the eggs in a second dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and place in a third shallow dish. Dip the cutlets first in the flour, then the eggs to cover completely. Let the excess drip off before placing in the breadcrumb mixture. Press down in the breadcrumb mixture, so that the cutlets are well coated, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Pour enough oil in a nonstick frying pan to come up ½ inch up the side of the pan, and place over medium heat. The oil will be hot enough when you place a corner of the cutlet in it and it sizzles. Fry the cutlets in batches without crowding the pan, until browned and cooked through, 4 minutes per side. Let drain on paper towels.
- Spread the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch pan with half of the sauce, then top with the cutlets in one layer. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top, then sprinkle lightly with the mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake until the cheese melts, 10-15 minutes. Uncover and cook until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is browned, 8-10 minutes.
- Serve hot.