Pan-seared, breaded chicken parmesan topped with mozzarella cheese, finished in the oven and topped with fresh basil, served over your choice of pasta with easy homemade marinara sauce.
So confession – I love Italian food, especially anything with pasta. I could eat a different Italian meal every day. But my husband on the other hand is more of meat and potatoes or Mexican food kind of guy. And my kids are an entirely different story. My daughter is like me, she loves pasta. Every year for her birthday she requests pesto on fettuccine noodles with green beans. My son, Liam, could always go for a good cheeseburger but if it’s chicken that’s on the menu his request is the Asian style orange chicken. That is until I recently made chicken parmesan. Liam said the chicken was his favorite right alongside orange chicken, he couldn’t choose. Now that’s something a mom likes to hear.
Funny thing, when I was a kid it was never my favorite Italian dish. I preferred good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. But when I was first married I asked my mom how she made chicken parmesan cause I figured my meat and potatoes husband would prefer it over let’s say pasta primavera. And boy was I right. He loved it, and now my kids do as well. It makes me so happy when everyone in my family enjoys their dinner. So much better than begging your child to try just one Brussels sprout.
So I decided a long time ago that if I make a variety of foods everyone will be happy. Plus, it’s fun to mix things up. The great thing about chicken parmesan is — the pasta lovers still get a side of spaghetti with marinara, and the meat lovers get a tasty breaded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and cheese. Who would say no to that?
I’ve made this dish dozens of times and I have to say while some things are always the same, I tend to mix up the bread crumbs depending on what I have on hand. For this recipe I used panko bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper and fresh parmesan cheese. It’s simple and not overpowering to the dish. Sometimes I’ll add more seasonings like basil or Italian seasoning. I’ve even made my own breadcrumbs if I didn’t have any on hand or I’ve used smashed croutons. But one thing is for certain, always dip your chicken in flour first. No matter what type of breading you choose, it’s essential to dip each chicken breast in flour, then egg, that way everything sticks nice and evenly to the meat.
I also pan sear the chicken in a skillet with olive oil before finishing it off in the oven as opposed to frying it. This way the dish is a little healthier. And I top it with my homemade Easy Marinara Sauce. A simple sauce is perfect for this dish so it doesn’t overwhelm the chicken.
I usually serve chicken parmesan alongside spaghetti noodles topped with marinara sauce, but if you prefer you could have a side of pasta with pesto or Alfredo.