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Parmesan Chicken

BEST Parmesan Chicken Breast recipe ever! Chicken parts dipped in melted butter, dredged in bread crumbs and Parmesan, and baked until crisp. Delicious baked homemade chicken nuggets!

Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Elise Bauer

Parmesan Chicken Breast Worth Fighting Over (and for)

When we were kids, my mother used to make this Parmesan chicken breast dish that was so good we would fight for drippings, every last crumb. She would start with a whole chicken, remove the skin and bones (and use them for making chicken stock), and then cut the meat into small pieces. (She made "chicken nuggets" before anyone called them that!)

Then she would dip these chicken nuggets into melted butter, dredge them in breadcrumbs and Parmesan, and bake them.

My god were they good.

The Secret to the Best Parmesan Chicken Breast

Several years ago when I asked mom for her parmesan chicken recipe, she hadn't made it in so many years she had completely forgotten how. After several false starts, my father and I finally recreated what comes close to her original recipe.

The secret, of course, is the melted butter.

When we made the parmesan chicken with olive oil, it was okay, but not the earth-shattering deliciousness we were looking for. At least that part of the recipe my mother remembered! (halfway through our recipe experimentation)

Also, when you use boneless skinless meat that has been cut into small pieces, the ratio of buttery crunchy coating to the meat is much higher than regular coated baked or fried chicken.

This recipe has been updated. First published in 2006.

Parmesan Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Note that the color of your roasting pan may make a difference in your results. A dark roasting pan (as pictured) may impart more heat and may brown the bottom of the chicken more.

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup or 1/4 pound), melted
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 2/3 cup if you are using a Microplane zester)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (can sub regular salt)
  • A large pinch of Italian seasoning (herb mix)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs of skinless, boneless, chicken meat, cut into 1-inch to 2-inch wide pieces

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Pat chicken pieces dry:

    Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Patting the chicken pieces dry will help the chicken pieces have crispy breading when baked.

    chicken being prepared for parmesan chicken breast
    Elise Bauer
  3. Prepare melted butter and breadcrumbs:

    In a small bowl, stir the minced garlic into the melted butter. In another bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper.

  4. Dredge chicken pieces in butter and Parmesan mixture:

    Piece by piece, dip the chicken pieces into the garlic melted butter, and then dredge into the Parmesan breadcrumb mixture to coat.

    Note that if your chicken pieces are cold, they may cause the melted butter to thicken, leaving too much butter sticking the chicken pieces. If you see this happening, just reheat the butter.

    Buttering chicken for parmesan chicken breasts
    Elise Bauer
    dredging chicken parmesan breast nuggets in parmesan
    Elise Bauer
  5. Place chicken on roasting dish:

    Place coated chicken pieces on to a 9x13 (or larger) roasting dish. Try to leave a little room between each piece. (You may need to use more than one roasting pan.) Drizzle with remaining garlic butter.

    Chicken Parmesan Recipe bake parmesan chicken breast nuggets in pan
    Elise Bauer
  6. Bake:

    Bake uncovered at 450°F 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Note that the chicken will get much more browned on the bottom side than on the top.

Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Elise Bauer