Chicken Breast

A 25-Minute Chicken Parm for When You're Like, "It's Monday Again?!"

It's cheesy. It's satisfying. It's less than half an hour away.

December 17, 2018
Photo by Rocky Luten

According to a deep-dive on chicken Parmesan (aka, chicken Parmigiana) conducted by the Brisbane Times, in Western Australia, they call it "Parmy."

Since learning of this, I've officially adopted the term in my own household. Because nothing—nothing—has ever been more deserving of an adorable nickname than chicken Parm. It's essentially the food equivalent of a joyful best friend: saucy, a perfect mix of savory and jammy, covered in melty cheese, and crispy in alllll of the right places.

But the first time I attempted to make Parmy at home, years ago, I ended up with a splattery oil-sauce situation that made my stovetop look like a crime scene, not to mention the giant pot of leftover fry oil (a pain to store and reuse—plus, it smelled like chicken and was studded with burnt breading that had drifted off my cutlets). Which meant that deliciously satisfying as it was, Parmy was to be a treat for special occasions, when I didn't mind a time commitment both upfront, and on the cleaning side.

Unless... There has to be a better way, I mused. Because when do you need to see your best friend most? Not just once every few weeks for an elaborate dinner, but at the end of a tough day, along with a glass of wine. Ideally, your best friend is someone who's available to catch up at a moment's notice, just because you feel like it.

Enter weeknight Parmy. It was developed over the course of many, many Mondays, through trial and error—I've tried it on the stovetop, flash-fried, baked in the oven, and under the broiler. I've done it up with fancy cheese, taken a more maximalist approach with the sauce, and even attempted a version with bone-in chicken thighs.

The one I've settled on, which features boneless, skinless chicken breasts crusted in panko and cheese, crisped to oblivion under the broiler and topped with a thick tomatoey sauce and more cheese (duh), has everything I've ever loved about more labor intensive versions of chicken Parm, but it comes together in less than half an hour. If you wanted to simplify even further, you could sub in store-bought sauce or just use good canned whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed between your fingers or blitzed in a food processor for a few minutes.

No matter what, this Parmy is going to be there for you when you've had a long day, and need a big hug (in saucy, cheesy form). Whether or not you buy it a BFF bracelet is, of course, up to you.

What's your go-to weeknight dinner these days? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.

1 Comment

tia December 17, 2018
I grew up eating a baked chicken Parm that's basically this but with Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. I LOVE it (and thank you for the reminder, because I haven't made it in ages). It's even good leftover, sliced up and tossed on a salad. Not terribly crunchy anymore but still super tasty.

And now I'm going to go home and pray I have everything I need to make it because, man, it sounds so good.