Easy Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite, with tender, crispy chicken topped with homemade tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. It's ridiculously easy to make and even more delicious than it looks.
Pour the tomatoes into a food processor or blender and pulse until the tomatoes are in small chunks. (About 6-7 pulses)
Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for about one minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat if necessary and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add the basil, salt, and sugar. Taste and add additional salt or sugar if necessary. Set aside.
For the Chicken:
Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to make a total of four chicken cutlets. If the chicken is thicker than about 1/4 of an inch, place it between two sheets of wax or parchment paper and pound them with a rolling pin or meat mallet until they are an even thickness.
Set up your dredging station by combining the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Add the eggs to another shallow bowl along with one tablespoon of water and whisk to combine. Finally, place the panko and parmesan cheese in another shallow dish.
Working with one breast at a time, dredge each piece in the flour, and shake off any excess. Then, dip it in the egg wash, and finally, dredge in the panko and parmesan mixture. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated on both sides. Place on a wire rack and let sit for a minute or two for the coating to set.
Preheat the broiler to high. Adjust the oven rack to about 6-8 inches below the broiler element.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the coating is golden brown and crispy.
Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over each piece of chicken, making sure to cover the top completely.
Place the skillet containing the chicken under the broiler and broil until the cheese has melted, which should take about two minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven and top each piece with 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce. Serve immediately.
Optional, before serving, garnish each piece of chicken with fresh basil.
Sharon's Expert Tips:
I like to use San Marzano canned tomatoes and think they have the best flavor.
If you don't have fresh basil, you can substitute two teaspoons of dried basil in the tomato sauce.
The homemade tomato sauce can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to make the chicken parmesan.
You can substitute purchased marinara sauce for the homemade tomato sauce in this recipe.
I like whole-milk mozzarella cheese because I think it's creamier, but you can certainly substitute part-skim mozzarella.
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