This one is a classic — almost everyone we know has indulged in a plate of chicken parmesan, but not many have made it at home for themselves. We admit, it has a few steps to it, but they are so worth it. In this case, homemade is where it’s at. For this recipe, we use our own marinara sauce since it is a little brighter and more fresh. (This can be done days or weeks in advance). If you’re in a pinch, store-bought is great. If you plan to buy jarred marinara sauce, you will need to buy 2 jars. About 1/2 of one jar will not be used.
4 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1 cup (210 grams) dried breadcrumbs
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese, divided (about 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil, plus more as needed
4 cups marinara sauce, warmed, see our homemade marinara recipe
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
4 slices provolone cheese
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Place a chicken breast onto cutting board and lay a sheet of wax paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap over it. Pound the chicken breast with a flat meat mallet (you can also use a rolling pin or heavy bottomed pan), until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts. Lightly season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper.
To prepare a breading station, you will need three shallow dishes — we like to use round cake pans or pie dishes. Add flour and a generous pinch of salt to the first and mix well with a fork. Crack both eggs into the second dish then add milk. Use a fork to beat until frothy. Add breadcrumbs, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese and another generous pinch of salt and pepper to the third dish and use a fork to mix well.
To bread chicken breasts, dredge chicken in seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, allowing excess to drip away from the chicken and back into the dish. Finally, dredge chicken in the breadcrumbs. Place breaded chicken onto clean plate or baking sheet.
Prepare a small baking sheet or large plate lined with paper towels for placing the browned chicken so excess oil is absorbed.
Find a skillet large enough so that all four chicken breasts can nestle into the pan comfortably. (If you do not have a pan large enough, use a medium pan and cook the chicken in batches). Add enough oil to the pan so that the bottom of the pan is covered.
Heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmers, add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp. When browned, place the chicken onto the bed of paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Ladle enough marinara sauce to coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Then, arrange place the browned chicken on top of sauce.
Add a generous tablespoon of sauce on top of each chicken breast then add a few basil leaves. Divide the remaining parmesan between the chicken breasts and finish with a slice of provolone cheese on top.
Bake the chicken, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese begins to brown and an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Serve with pasta, additional sauce, vegetables or a sandwich roll.