A crispy breading on the chicken, fresh mozzarella*, and the sweet flavor of fresh basil make this chicken parmesan a restaurant worthy meal. The convenience of boxed pasta and pre-made sauce also makes it a quick and easy meal that can be ready to eat in just thirty minutes.
- 1 egg
- 1 C Panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil for topping
- 3 C spaghetti sauce
- 1 lb angel hair pasta
1. In a flat, shallow dish whisk an egg for part of the chicken’s coating. In a second shallow dish, combine the Panko through the onion powder and mix well with a fork. Set each dish aside.
2. Slice each chicken breast in half height-wise so that you now have six thin chicken breasts. (TIP: Start cutting slowly from the thickest side and angle the knife slightly upwards as you cut). If you skip this step, the cooking time for the chicken will significantly increase.
3. Dip each thin chicken breast in the egg and then in the crumb mixture. Coat each piece completely but let any excess fall back to the dish. Set each chicken breast on a clean plate as you finish dipping the remaining pieces.
4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes, or while you coat the chicken. When the pan is hot, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Immediately add the chicken breasts pieces to the pan and set a timer for 3 minutes. After three minutes, flip the chicken over and cook for 3 more minutes. Do not move the chicken around while each side is browning so that the crust will brown evenly without falling off.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and let the chicken finish cooking for about 8-10 minutes. During the last few minutes, lay the thin slices of mozzarella on top of each breast to melt. (If at the end of the cooking time, the mozzarella is not melted enough to your taste, you can place it under the broiler for a minute to finish melting).
6. WHILE THE CHICKEN IS COOKING, boil the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside. Warm the sauce in a small saucepan.
7. To serve, layer the pasta, a few spoonfuls of sauce, and a chicken breast on a plate. Top with chopped fresh basil.
*The fresh mozzarella can be subbed for shredded mozzarella in a pinch, but the fresh is really worth the splurge sometimes!
The secret to a crisp crust is starting with a hot pan and not moving the chicken around too much while it browns. Let the chicken brown well on both sides before reducing the heat to ensure a crispy outside and a juicy inside.