Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Crispy Chicken Parmesan is breaded chicken breasts that are pan-fried and topped with homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

CRISPY CHICKEN PARMESAN
Traditionally, the chicken was not part of this recipe. Eggplant Parmigiana was an eggplant, fried, then topped with cheese and tomato sauce. Then, it would be baked, ready to eat! Later, eggplant was replaced with chicken, and Chicken Parmesan (or chicken parm) was created!

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Sauce: The homemade sauce is made with onions, garlic, tomato sauce, oregano, and basil. You could also make this recipe easier by using a jar of your favorite tomato sauce.

Panko: Not only will you be dredging the chicken breasts in a flour and cornstarch mixture, but also a panko mixture. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is lighter and will stay crispier longer. Look for panko in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store.

Cheese: I went with mozzarella cheese. You could also use parmesan or provolone cheese.

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

BUTTERMILK MARINADE
The first thing you need to do for this recipe is to slice the chicken breasts in half and marinate them in buttermilk. To marinate the chicken, place the chicken breast fillets in a large bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Top the chicken pieces with buttermilk. Make sure all the chicken pieces are submerged in the buttermilk.

Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and set the bowl of coated chicken in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can marinate the chicken for up to 48 hours if you are not ready to make them on the same day.

TOMATO SAUCE
When ready to continue with the recipe (after the chicken has had time to marinate), make the tomato sauce before you coat and pan-fry the chicken. To make the sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Next, cook the onions for a few minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic to cook for about and minute before adding the tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.

Cover the saucepan and let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes. Keep the sauce warm as you prepare the chicken for the Crispy Chicken Parmesan.

BAKING SHEETS
When ready to fry the chicken, be sure to have three sheet pans ready to go. Line one pan with parchment paper. You will place the coated chicken fillets onto this pan. For the second sheet pan, place a cooling rack on top of it. The fried chicken will go on the cooling rack and the pan will catch the oil.

Finally, line the third pan with aluminum foil. This pan will be placed in the oven with the chicken and mozzarella cheese to finish the recipe.

COATING THE CHICKEN
After the chicken has marinated, and the sheet pans are ready to go, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let the chicken come to room temperature. Prepare the flour mixture, egg mixture, and panko bread crumbs.

In one bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and garlic powder. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Finally, in a third bowl, add 1 cup of the flour mixture and the panko bread crumbs and mix them together. Line the bowls up in that order.

To coat each chicken piece:

  • Dredge the chicken piece through the flour mixture.
  • Next, dip the chicken into the egg mixture.
  • Then, coat the piece of chicken with the panko mixture.
  • Finally, set each coated piece of chicken on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

PAN-FRYING THE CHICKEN
Once the chicken breasts are coated, heat up about a cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. I needed a full cup to make sure the oil filled the bottom of the skillet. When the oil is hot, add 3-4 chicken fillets (or as many as your skillet can hold).

Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on one side. Then, flip over the pieces of chicken and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Place the cooked and crispy chicken on the wire rack as you repeat with the remaining chicken fillets.

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

HOW TO MAKE CRISPY CHICKEN PARMESAN
The final step in this recipe is to put everything together and broil for a few minutes. Set the oven to low broil, or about 450°F. Transfer the fried chicken fillets to the aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Top each fillet with about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce and 1-2 slices of mozzarella cheese.

Broil the crispy chicken parmesan for a few minutes (3-5), watching carefully, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, garnished with fresh basil. This is delicious as-is. Or, I will give you some side dishes that would go well with the dish.

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half to make 6 thin fillets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Chicken Coatings

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup olive oil, for frying

Toppings

  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

Chicken Marinade

Season chicken breast fillets with salt and pepper and add them to a large bowl. Top with buttermilk. (The chicken should be fully submerged.) Cover with plastic wrap and transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour, up to 48 hours.

Sauce

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil.

Add onion, cooking until softened (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.

Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Keep the sauce warm while you prepare the chicken.

Chicken Coatings

Transfer the marinated chicken to the counter to come to room temperature while you prepare the next few steps.

Set out 3 large baking sheets. Line one of the pans with parchment paper. Set a wire rack over the second pan. Line the third pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and garlic powder.

In a second, medium-sized bowl, add eggs and water. Whisk to combine.

In a third, medium bowl, add 1 cup of the flour mixture. To this bowl, add the panko. Toss to combine.

One at a time, remove a fillet of chicken from the buttermilk mixture. Dredge it first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally the panko mixture. Place on the parchment-lined pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

When ready, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add 3-4 pieces of coated chicken (or as many as your skillet can hold) to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 4-5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. The chicken should be crispy and golden brown.

Remove the chicken from the oil and place on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.

Assembly

Preheat the oven to a low broil (about 450°F).

Transfer the fried chicken from the wire rack to the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Top each fillet with ⅓ cup of tomato sauce and 1-2 slices of fresh mozzarella.

Broil for 3-5 minutes, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Pan-fried Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

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