Though chicken parm is a classic, easy, comfort-food dish that you’d “think” can’t be improved upon……….well we’ve got some news (and a few tips!).
With just a few simple tweaks you can level up that dinner standard and make it even better!
To start, grab 2 lemons, which you’ll zest and juice. Whisk the juice into the eggs and add the zest to your breadcrumbs. A generous addition of lemon significantly brightens the flavor of the chicken and is a delicious addition!
Try swapping your standard bread crumbs for panko – which makes the cutlets extra crunchy (and extra delicious)!
Next, refrigerate the breaded cutlets for several hours (and up to overnight) prior to frying. If you’ve ever been frustrated with the breading falling off the cutlets, this will do the trick. That chill time helps the coating adhere to the chicken so it will stay intact when you start cooking.
Finally, set up a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet, and transfer the fried cutlets onto the rack. By elevating the cutlets the extra oil will drip off and the bottoms will stay as crispy as the tops.
Best Chicken Parm:
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied or pounded thin
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 3 – 4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 lemons
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heaping 1/2 cup grated parmesan (plus extra, for serving)
- 2 – 3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
Line a baking sheet with foil and place the butterflied chicken breasts in a single layer. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs in a pie plate or shallow dish; season with salt and pepper. Place the panko in a second pie plate or shallow dish; season with salt and pepper. Juice and zest the lemons; whisk the lemon juice into the beaten eggs and stir the zest into the breadcrumbs.
Working with one breast at a time, dip into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, and return to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to broil. Spray a wire cooling rack with non-stick cooking spray and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Heat a large, heatproof skillet over medium-high heat; add about 1/2” of vegetable oil and heat till hot. Add the chicken breasts (without crowding the skillet) and cook till golden brown on both sides. Transfer to the wire rack and repeat with remaining breasts. Top evenly with the shredded mozzarella, followed by the parmesan. Set aside.
Empty and wipe out the skillet and let cool for a few minutes. Add the marinara and heat till simmering. Place the chicken under the broiler and broil till golden brown and bubbling, watching carefully to avoid burning.
Serve the chicken topped with the marinara an additional parmesan.