I had never made Chicken Parmesan until I met Aaron, and since then I've made a lot of it, tried different recipes and am constantly fine tuning my own recipe. Wouldn't you know it, that when I was in Shopper's Drug Mart yesterday that the new Cook's Illustrated magazine that was out had Chicken Parmesan on the front as one of the "tested" recipes, of course I bought it!! After checking it out I found a couple of tips that I'd like to use which is perfect since I was already planning on making it.
For the Sauce
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) Diced Tomatos
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Tsp Dried Basil
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch of Sugar
*Optional 1/2-1 Tbsp Epicure Marinara Sauce Mix
For the Breading
3/4 c. Panko Breadcrumbs
3/4 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated (Cook's Illustrated tip, I increased the amount)
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1/2 Tsp Epicure Poultry Seasoning
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
For the Egg Wash
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/8 c. Milk
1 Tbsp Flour (This is a tip from CI, cuts down on a step and a dish)
Salt & Pepper
For the Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half and flattened (CI tip, less pounding this way)
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
8 ozs Mozzarella, sliced
Start off by making the sauce, heat the EVOO in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain the simmer and cook uncovered while you prepare the chicken, about 12-15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the ingredients for the breading in a shallow bowl, I like to use a 9x9 cake pan, and the ingredients for the egg wash in another shallow bowl.
Dip each chicken piece in the egg wash, coating well and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place the coated chicken in the breading mixture and coat all sides well.
Heat the 1/4 cup of EVOO in a large frying pan on medium high heat, the oil should shimmer but not smoke. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and turn the heat down to medium and gently fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Spread enough of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan to thickly coat the bottom and carefully place each chicken piece on top. Add the remaining sauce to the top of each breast and top with the sliced mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is entirely melted.
I'm pretty sure each time I make this I get a "Get out of Jail Free" card from Aaron, not that I've ever needed to use them...except for maybe that time when...ah, never mind...lol.