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A Quick Weeknight Classic

Jennifer Chandler

What’s for dinner tonight? Chicken Parmesan!

To take the stress out of suppertime on a week day, I look for meals that can be whipped up in about 30 minutes. Recipes like this one have become a favorite weeknight meal for the whole family … and for me the cook!

Chicken Parmesan is one dish that every busy cook should have in his or her repertoire. Once you get the hang of it, it comes together quickly. Simple ingredients transform a boring piece of boneless, skinless chicken into a tasty meal.

I like my Chicken Parmesan to be crispy.

Many versions of this dish call for cooking the chicken in the sauce, creating a soggy dish. I cook the chicken on its own until it is completely cooked through and has a nice crispy coating.

Using a non-stick skillet to cook the chicken is a fool-proof way to not lose any of the golden crispy crust.

I add the tomato sauce and the cheese at the end, putting it in the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese.

As a time-saver, you can substitute store-bought marinara tomato sauce instead of using a homemade version. There are so many good options at the store these days, jarred marinara is a great short-cut. When I do make a homemade marinara sauce, I make a double batch and freeze some for use in dishes like this.

For the adults in the house, I serve Chicken Parmesan traditionally. But for the kids, I sometimes cut the chicken into strips and then serve the tomato sauce as a dipping sauce. Little ones just love finger foods!

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Chicken Parmesan

  • 3/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat the oven to 395 degrees.

    In a shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Place the flour in another shallow bowl and generously season with salt and pepper. Place the beaten egg in a third shallow bowl.

    Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in between 2 pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Next dip the chicken in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. Then dredge the chicken through the Parmesan bread crumbs, evenly coating on both sides.

    In a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the skillet. Place the chicken into the skillet and cook until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and spoon the tomato sauce over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is just melted, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

    Serves 4.

    Recipe from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

    Copyright 2021 WKNO

    Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.