Cast Iron

Classic Chicken Parmigiana

March  6, 2017
Photo by Leigh Suznovich
Author Notes

The ultimate Italian American classic comfort food gets taken up a notch. This is a simple, delicious version of Chicken Parmigiana with homemade marinara and smoked mozzarella. —Leigh Suznovich

Test Kitchen Notes

It doesn't get more classic or comforting than chicken Parmigiana, an Italian-American dish of crispy, breaded chicken topped with marinara sauce, melty mozzarella, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs (like basil or parsley). This version from longtime community member Leigh Suznovich stays true to its roots, with a small-but-impactful twist: smoked mozzarella, which adds—you guessed it—a distinctly smoky flavor. If you're not into smoked cheeses, you can swap in your favorite low-moisture mozzarella and the dish will still turn out great.

The recipe calls for homemade marinara, but if you don't already have a standby sauce in your arsenal, don't worry—you have a few options. You can use Marcella Hazan's iconic tomato sauce with onion and butter (you only need three ingredients and less than an hour) or this 15-minute recipe that's packed with flavor. Want to make things even easier on yourself? Go the store-bought route (we especially love Rao's jarred all-purpose tomato sauce).

One more tip for pulling off this classic chicken Parmigiana recipe any old weeknight: Make sure your oil is nice and hot before you start frying the chicken. You can test the heat by adding a breadcrumb or two to the oil. If it starts bubbling, the oil is ready to go; if not, let it heat up for a bit longer. —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • For the chicken Parmigiana:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dash water
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Canola oil, as needed for pan frying
  • For the assembly:
  • 1 cup homemade marinara sauce
  • 8 thin slices of smoked mozzarella
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, coarsely chopped as needed for garnish
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. First, set up the breading line for the chicken with three big, shallow bowls. In the first bowl mix together the flour, dried onion, and dried oregano. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and minced garlic. In the third bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Have a plate handy on the end to hold the breaded chicken.
  2. Once the breading line is set up fill a cast-iron skillet with about 1 1/2 inches of canola oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. While the oil gets hot, put all 4 chicken breasts through the breading line. Use one hand to coat the chicken in the flour, the other hand to dip it in the egg wash mixture, then back to the first hand to coat it in the breadcrumbs. This keeps it as clean and neat as possible. Then just transfer the chicken to the plate once it is breaded.
  3. Pan fry the breaded chicken in the hot oil, cooking the first side for about 3 minutes to let it get super crisp and golden. Flip it over to get just as crispy and golden on the other side. about another 3 minutes. Once crispy and cooked through, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to help soak up some of the excess oil.
  4. Move the chicken into a baking dish and top each piece with a 1/4 cup of marinara sauce. Then lay 2 slices of smoked mozzarella on each piece to finish assembling the chicken Parmigiana. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and bubbling.
  5. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the chicken rest for 1 or 2 minutes. Sprinkle the finely chopped fresh parsley on top for some green freshness and serve warm.

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