Chicken Parmesan

Cook’s Illustrated titled this recipe as the “Best Chicken Parmesan”, and they’re absolutely right.  The sprinkling of salt on the cutlets and allowing them to draw out the moisture makes a huge impact. The sauce is simple and fresh.  And replacing half of the breadcrumbs with grated parmesan cheese makes for a very good crust.  Chicken Parm is Bob’s go-to dish and this has won him over as the best he’s ever had.

Prepare Chicken – First Step:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced horizontally into 3 cutlet
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil

 Prepare Chicken – Second Step:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup torn fresh basil

Prepare Chicken – First Step:DSC_0188

  1. After slicing chicken, sprinkle each side of each cutlet with the kosher salt and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Pat each cutlet dry with a paper towel.

Prepare Sauce:DSC_0191 DSC_0194

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering.  Add garlic, salt, oregano and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  4. Off heat, stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and keep warm.

Prepare Chicken – Second Step:DSC_0195

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Whisk egg and flour together in a shallow dish until smooth.  Combine Parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, oregano and pepper in second shallow dish.
  3. Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge cutlet in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off.  Coat all sides in Parmesan mixture, pressing gently so crumbs adhere.  Transfer cutlet to large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.
  4. Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully place 2 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until bottoms are crisp and deep golden brown, about 2-2 ½ minutes.  Using tongs, carefully flip cutlets and cook on second side until deep golden brown, another 1 ½-2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining cutlets. Add additional oil if necessary for subsequent batches.
  5. Place cutlets on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over cutlets, covering as much surface area as possible.  Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 2-4 minutes.  Transfer chicken to serving platter and top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons sauce.  Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce separately.

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