This Chicken Parmesan recipe is what “sealed the deal” for my husband & I!!
Last weekend was Valentines Day which got me thinking about my special Valentine…my hubby! We met in the fall of 2004 and got married in the fall of 2006. From what I can remember I believe it is my Chicken Parmesan that blew him away and really “sealed the deal”! The very first meal I ever made my husband (my then new boyfriend at the time) was my Chicken Parmesan. I picked this special dish for two reasons: one,this dish is one of my specialties and I knew I could not mess it up and two, this dish is also out of this world when made properly. I knew I would blow him away and he would fall instantly in love with me. I believe it worked! Fast forward to 2016…we have been married for almost 10 years and have 4 insanely wild and wonderful kids!
To be honest, I knew he was the “one” so I wanted to make him something special that night for dinner. This dish does take a little time and preparation so I usually save it for special occasions. Could you whip it up on a week-day…sure, but it is more fun to have a special recipe that you only bring out for birthdays, anniversaries, etc…. I pound the chicken really well so it is nice and thin and then marinate it over night in some olive oil with garlic. I make a big batch of my Marinara Sauce which accompanies the breaded chicken. Finally, I finish the dish off with some beautiful bright white slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. I serve my Orzo & Feta along side my Chicken Parmesan with a big Italian salad. I sit back , watch everyone enjoying the meal and listen to the mmm’s and the ahh’s!
- 6 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves - sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 4 large eggs
- 1 TB. milk
- 3 cups Italian bread crumbs
- 2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese (divided)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella (cut into 12 thin slices)
- 8 cups Marinara Sauce (see recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- Using a metal meat pounder, pound each chicken breasts so that the are about 1 inch thick.
- Marinate chicken: place all pounded chicken breasts in a large zip lock bag. Add 2/3 cup olive oil, sliced garlic, oregano, basil and pepper. Close zip lock bag and mix chicken around so it is coated with all the other ingredients. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Remove chicken from fridge. In a large shallow dish mix the 4 eggs with 1 TB. milk. Whisk and set aside. In a second shallow bowl place the breadcrumbs along with 1 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- Dip each chicken breasts one at a time first in the egg mixture letting excess drip off and then immediately placing it in dish of breadcrumbs and cheese. Coat each piece of chicken generously with breadcrumb mixture. Place each breaded piece of chicken on a platter and set aside.
- In the meantime place enough vegetable oil in a large frying pan to coat the entire bottom of pan. Working in batches (probably 3 chicken breasts per batch) fry each chicken breasts until browned on each side. About 2 to 3 minutes per side. Continue with second batch and remove the chicken breasts from fry pan and set aside on a platter.
- In a large baking dish or roasting pan place about 3 cups of marinara sauce so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Place chicken breasts in a single layer covering the bottom of the pan. Layer 3 more cups of marinara sauce over the top of the chicken breasts. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place covered pan in oven and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and uncover. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with some of the remaining parmesan cheese. Place two thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese over each chicken breast.
- Return pan to oven uncovered - put oven temp. on broil. Broil for about 3-5 minutes or just until cheese melts on top.
- Serve immediately with some chopped fresh basil as garnish. Serve with my Orzo & Feta recipe along with a side of the remaining 2 cups of marinara.
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 - 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 2- 14 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (about 12 basil leaves)
- salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan or pot.
- Add garlic and saute 3-5 minutes.
- Add basil and oregano - cook 2 minutes
- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and red pepper to your liking and cook 5 minutes.
- Add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup water ( I usually do this by adding some water to empty tomato cans and swishing water around to get all the juice from the cans). Add this water to sauce in pot. Cover & stir.
- Let sauce cook on medium for about half an hour.
- With a hand blender puree the tomato sauce until smooth. (can also pour into a blender and puree) You can leave it thick, but my family likes it pureed and smooth.
- Put lid on pot. Cook for one more hour on low. Can cook for more, but an hour usually does the trick.
- * I always make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it in smaller containers so I have it readily available for recipes that call for marinara sauce (ex: Chicken Parm.)