This Chicken Parmesan is perfect for a weeknight meal that still feels satisfying — and a little indulgent. Chicken breasts are coated in panko breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to create a crispy, flavor-packed crust, then topped with melted mozzarella cheese and a bright tomato sauce. Serve with garlicky sauteed broccoli rabe.
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (15 oz./470 g.) tomato puree
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
Vegetable oil for frying
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each 6 to 8 oz. (185 to 250 g.), halved lengthwise and pounded to an even 1/4-inch (6-mm.) thickness
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) panko
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 1/2 oz. (75 g.) mozzarella cheese, sliced
In a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the tomato puree. Reduce the heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped basil. Remove the tomato sauce from the heat.
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
In a 3-quart (3-l) sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4 inch (6 mm) and heat until hot. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow bowl or pie dish. Put the eggs in another bowl and season with salt and pepper. Combine the panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a third bowl.
Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then coat evenly with the panko mixture. Place on a large plate. Place 2 of the chicken breasts in the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts.
Carefully pour the hot oil into a heat-safe bowl to discard later. Wipe out the pan with paper towels. Place 2 of the chicken breasts in the pan and spread 2 Tbs. tomato sauce over each one. Top with half of the mozzarella, dividing evenly. Transfer to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and garnish with basil leaves. Repeat with the remaining 2 chicken breasts, sauce and cheese, reserving the leftover sauce to pass at the table. Serve immediately. Serves 4.