Baked Chicken Parmesan

When we were kids, my mother used to make a broiled chicken dish which we called Chicken Parmesan. It was so good, we would fight over the drippings. Then my mother gave up wheat for 20 years and the recipe is lost somewhere in the deep storage of her mind, currently unaccessible. (By the way, this is the main reason I put recipes on the web, they don’t get lost or forgotten!)

We had a hankering for Parmesan chicken the other night so I hit the recipe books and Epicurious and came up with something really quite good. Not as drop-dead delicious as mom’s, and the reason why? Mom remembered as we were eating that she used to dip every piece of chicken in melted butter before rolling it in the breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture. Well no wonder we were fighting over the drippings! You can do the same, if you really want a treat. This recipe doesn’t do that, but if you want, just substitute the vinegar for melted butter and then add some more butter to the coating liquid.

Update: We recreated mom’s recipe for Parmesan chicken. Check it out for an alternative to this recipe.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Parmesan chicken is traditionally made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. We use breasts, but thighs too, if we are starting with a whole chicken.

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (we use Muir-Glen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Chicken:

  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (5-oz) skinless boneless chicken breast halves (or deboned thighs)
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs (we make our breadcrumbs from old French bread)
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Method

1 Prepare the sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the garlic and oil together over medium high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens a bit and flavors meld, about 10-12 minutes. Taste sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary, cover and keep warm.

2 Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut each chicken breast half in half for smaller pieces. With a meat pounder, pound the chicken pieces to flatten them to an even thickness - between 1/4 - 1/2 inch. You might find it easier to put the chicken between layers of plastic wrap before pounding.

3 Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl, add the chicken pieces, tossing to coat well.

4 In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well and add in the melted butter. Transfer to a shallow plate. Dredge the chicken pieces 1 piece at a time in the crumb mixture, coating completely. Press the crumbs in gently to adhere and transfer to a stick-free baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Serve with a side of rice or pasta. Ladle sauce over the chicken.

Notes:

Sauce recipe is from The Best Recipe cookbook.

The chicken Parmesan recipe is adapted from one found on Epicurious.com.

23 Comments

  1. Liz

    I made this recipe this weekend for my notoriously picky two and four year old. They loved it, and so did my husband and I. Any meal that can appeal to preschoolers AND foodies is a fabulous thing!

  2. Sheeijan

    I substituted the butter for the vinegar, and my husband loved this. I didn’t eat any (too much fat for me), but he especially liked the dijon mustard. Mustard goes so well with chicken!

  3. mj

    Hi……..you’ve done it again. I was looking under quick recipes (which has disappeared) and found this chicken parm. of yours. Made it last night and cannot thank you enough. Yummy and easy. Perfect directions too. It was soooooo good and soooooo tender that I had the sauce on the side and neither of us used it! You came through again, girl! Thanks a bunch. mj

  4. shanty

    Very very yummy, delicious and easy to cook . I cooked this recipe last weekend , my hubby love it , he love dijon mustard , and surprise having that in chicken , so good!!
    We have this chicken parmesan with pasta .

    Thankyou for giving me inspiration .

    Luv
    Shanty – Sweden

  5. Momsy

    Great recipe, I was doubtful at first about the mustard, but tried it anyway and it was great. We are gluten sensitive so we substitued crushed rice krispies for the bread crumbs and it worked fabulously, will try the parchment paper idea next time because you know there will be a next time, and a next time and many more after that, Thanx again!!!

  6. newcookcd

    I’ve really been enjoying your recipes!! I just moved out on my own and decided that i want to become a good cook. I’ve tried a few of your recipes including the other parmesan chicken and they are all simple and delicious! with this one I used Southwest Sweet Hot mustard because that’s the mustard i always buy and it turned out great! Thank-you so much!! I especially love your pictures so I can see what it’s supposed to look like :-)

  7. RK

    I’ve learned the best way to bread anything is to go dry, wet, dry. Also I love chicken parmesan but hate the consistency of baked chicken because it just never crisps the way it should. Here’s my version if interested:

    Pound the chicken or slice it through the center, whichever works. Dredge the pieces in Parmesan cheese. Dredge them in beaten eggs. Then in Italian bread crumbs, pat to adhere.

    Put just the tiniest bit of olive oil in a frying pan and put in the chicken, browning each side to a beautiful golden crust.

    Put them in the oven at 350 covered with warm sauce and fresh mozzarella till the mozarrela just melts (and you have to watch it because if it goes too far then it tends to get a little rubbery), and then serve with pasta.

    If your oil is too hot and your chicken browns too quickly, no worries! Just tent it with foil in the oven so it ends up cooking the rest of the way without the cheese getting rubbery, or add the cheese right before it’s done.

  8. jud

    Elise,

    Are the bread crumbs used in the chicken parmesan with tomato sauce dry or fresh?

    I enjoy using your recipes–simple and dependable.

    Thanks for the info.

    Jud

    We use dry breadcrumbs. We make them by taking the ends of breadloaves (we save the ends and let them dry out) and putting them in a blender. ~Elise

  9. Mar

    In response to the above comment-

    This is my quick trick for breadcrumbs. Put a piece of bread on a paper plate in the mircowave for about 2 minutes. You might have to check to make sure it doesn’t end up burning. Anyway, the microwave dries up all the moisture out of the bread, then I just put a paper towel over the plate and crush it with a rolling pin.

  10. MICHELLE FERNANDES

    Hi, I have always tried your receipe and they all have turned out very good. I wanted to try this receipe the problem is that I still dont have an oven, is it ok if I cook this in a microwave.

    Hi Michelle, if you cook it in the microwave it will not brown. Because of the way microwaves work (by agitating water molecules), the highest temperature that a microwave can achieve is the 212°F, the boiling point of water. You need a much higher temperature than that to get browning. Instead of the microwave, you might try cooking them on the stove top, in a frying pan with a little olive oil. ~Elise

  11. Debbi

    This was absolutely delicious. I made it for my family — my toddlers ate it right up — and then made it again for my friend and her family since she just had a new baby. Everyone loved it. Thank you for a great dish. Saw the updated version dipped in butter and may use that for a kids’ party instead of making homemade chicken nuggets.

  12. Jenny

    I’m gluten intolerant, too. Rice Krispies are not a gluten-free product; they have malt in them, which contains gluten.

    I believe the previous poster said “gluten sensitive”, so maybe a little is okay. But still good to know that rice krispies are not gluten-free. ~Elise

  13. Trent

    I made this recipe for my wife a couple of nights ago. We both thought it was very good. I will make this again for my mother this weekend, I’m sure she will like it. On a scale of 1 to 10 I gave it a 9.

    Trent

  14. Yumi

    Thank you very much, Elise. I made Chicken Parmesan for the first time for new year’s eve especially for my husband’s kids as it’s their favorite and 1 of them were sick. And he had 1.5 chicken! I cannot beat their grandma’s chicken Parmesan, but I think it was a good success. I placed chicken on aluminum foil, and I placed skin side to the plate. I think I have to remember to place skin top next time. Apart from that, it turned out to be pretty good. I liked the idea of using Dijon mustard. I am going to cook goose for New Year. Thanks again!

  15. Jennifer

    This is really good and easy chicken. I liked the sauce, but my husband loved the chicken so much I had to make it two nights in a row.
    I used the butter in place of the vinegar both times.

  16. Susan

    This recipe was amazing! I think next time I will try to make this low calorie by using my own breadcrumbs made from the 45 calorie a slice bread. Instead of using the bread ends we always toast a whole loaf(maybe like 5-10 slices) and let it sit over night before crushing it up. We keep the extra in a bag so that we have it on hand if we need it. I think you could make this recipe gluten free by using the gluten free bread to make your own bread crumbs.

    Anyway I am a culinary disaster most of the time, but this recipe was easy and fun to make.

  17. Krystle

    I think my boyfriend sees me as wife material after making this. ;) Very good, thanks! This was the best chicken I’ve ever been able to make, and was quite simple. For me, it was 45 minutes from start to finish, and I cleaned my plate, my boyfriend liked it and said he’d eat it again, and my notoriously picky 5-year-old ate all the chicken. I like that the parmesan is blended with the bread crumbs instead of all piled on top of the chicken. This is my new signature dish! Thank you! :)

  18. Kris

    Hi Elise, I made this tonight and it was delicious. I used panko breadcrumbs and the chicken was crispy, crunchy good. Also used really grainy mustard. Yum, yum, yum. Thanks!

  19. sandra Hansen

    Thank you so much for this post.

    I’ve made chicken parmesan many ways, and this was the best. I think the key was dipping the chicken in the mustard and vinegar mix! Perfect! I hate when people say how great a recipe is, but they change this and that! But unfortunately in this case, I really didn’t have any bread crumbs! So I did substitute GLUTEN free Pretzles instead of breadcrumbs. If you are celiac I really suggest this recipe and doing this! Using the boneless thigh meat pounded was sooooo tender and juicy. I really like not having to dip the breasts in an egg and milk mixture, this was soooo much cleaner, and quicker. Thank you so much for teaching me alittle more about cooking!
    sandy

  20. Lauren

    I just made this dish tonight. My husband and I liked to eat healthy, so I made a few substitutions. I used Splenda instead of sugar, light extra virgin oil, spray butter instead of real butter and I used brown rice instead of white rice or pasta. I am absolutely obsessed with this dish!! Thank you so much for posting it.

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