If you love chicken and you love cheese, you will love a good dish of chicken parmesan! Serve this over pasta and poof, you have an amazing dinner. What's even better? I make this all in my cast iron pan, one dish - well 2 dishes if you are serving pasta with it.
Have you ever had chicken parmesan before? It is a mix of breaded chicken, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. I use parmesan cheese in mine, but funny that a lot of people do not. I mean it's in the name!
Get your cast iron pan (or oven safe pan) out and let's get to cooking this amazing dinner. I used a 12 inch here and it is plenty big enough as you can see.
We also have a pan fried chicken which you may want to try. It doesn't have the sauce, but it is good with mashed potatoes or rice!
Making chicken parmesan
This is very easy dish to make, but it does involve a few steps. No worries, they are easy I promise!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Make sure your frying pan is oven safe up to 400 - cast iron pans are and most stainless steel is ok. Always check with the manufacture if you are not sure. Some say on the bottom if they are oven safe up to a certain temperature.
Prepping the chicken
First thing you need to do is bring the chicken out and pound it down. It will cook evenly if it is pounded to the same thickness. I like to place a long sheet of wax paper over my meat cutting board. As a note, my meat cutting board is bamboo. Do not use a glass cutting board for this! If you only have glass cutting boards, you will have to use another surface that can handle a little bit of a pounding.
I place the chicken one piece at a time on the wax paper and fold the paper over the chicken. Then I take a heavy duty stainless steel pot and pound down on the chicken. Don't judge, it works haha! And well, it is a great stress relief too.
I like my chicken to sit out for about 15 minutes before cooking, but you can get it ready right away. It will take about 15 minutes to have the chicken pounded down and breaded.
Breading the chicken
This is pretty easy, tho a little messy. I often use gallon storage bags for the flour mix. You can use one for the bread crumb mix too, but I think a dish works better for them.
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a bag. Salt is optional here, but I use unsalted bread crumbs and find it necessary to add some. In a bowl big enough to dip chicken in, mix the eggs and water with a fork. Last mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl or gallon size bag. Your dipping station is now set up.
Take the chicken one piece at a time and shake it in the flour bag. Next dip it in the egg mix and immediately into the breadcrumbs to coat well. Place on a dish until ready to go in the pan.
Cooking the chicken
Heat up the cast iron pan for about 2 minutes on medium. Add the oil and let it heat up for another minute or 2. I use olive oil so I am very careful not to overheat. If using stainless steel, you can even add the oil right away. I personally do not heat my stainless steel pans up before adding any fat, but you do want to heat it up before adding the chicken.
Once heated up, add the chicken. It should sizzle when you add it, if not you will need to add a couple minutes to cook time. Cook for 5 minutes and flip. Everybody's stove is different so if you usually cook with cast iron, use your normal heat up times for the pan.
Cook for another 5 minutes and remove from pan. If you are using sauce that is already made, add the sauce to the pan and heat it up for a minute or 2. Place the chicken in the sauce without getting sauce on the top of the chicken:
Add 2 slices (or preferred amount) of mozzarella cheese to the top of each chicken breast and place in the oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Bake about 8 minutes - until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
Making the homemade sauce
Place chicken on a dish when removing from the pan and keep close to the stove so it doesn't lose some of it's heat. I don't cover it because it might get soggy. But I keep it close to the stove and it works out.
Add onions to the oil in the pan left from the chicken. Saute for about 2 minutes and add garlic. Saute another minute. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the chicken. Place the chicken in the pan gently, no sauce on the top of chicken. It won't hurt dinner if sauce gets on top, we try to keep a slight crunch to the top
We prefer our chicken parmesan served over spaghetti, but you can get pretty creative here with this.
Don't have dinner rolls? It's ok because you can whip up some cheesy garlic biscuits. You would just have to bump the temperature back down to 400 for the chicken after making the biscuits, but they are quick and easy to make.
- 4 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt see notes
- ¼ tsp pepper ground
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 5 tbsp olive oil see notes
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese
Marinara sauce (optional, you can use a 24 ounce jar of your favorite sauce)
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 15 oz tomato sauce no salt added
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes no salt added garlic, basil and oregano
- ½ tsp salt leave out if using salted tomatoes
- ½ tsp basil dried
- ½ tsp oregano dried
- 1 tsp parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°FPound chicken down to the same thickness - try for an inch thick
- Mix together flour, salt and pepper in a gallon size bag.Mix eggs and water in a bowl large enough for dippingMix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl for dipping
- One chicken breast at a time:toss in the bag with the flour to coat it. Put into the egg mix and then into the breadcrumbs to coat the chicken. Set aside.
- Heat up the cast iron pan on medium for about 2 minutes before adding oil for a minute - keep an eye on the pan if oil just starts to smoke, add the chicken. If using a stainless steel pan, be sure it is oven safe to 400°. Heat the oil (I put the oil right into the pan to heat up - no pan preheat is required) for about 2 minutes before adding chicken.
- The chicken should sizzle when you put it in. Cook for 5 minutes and flip. It should look like the image here.Cook 5 another 5 minutes.
- Remove from pan and set aside. If using jarred sauce, add the sauce to the pan and heat it up for about 2 minutes. Gently set the chicken in the sauce, keeping one side out of the sauce.If making the sauce, jump to the section for the sauce.
- Add 2 slices of mozzarella to each chicken breast and place in oven preheated to 400°F. Bake for about 8 minutes.When it is bubbly and the cheese is melted, it is done.
Making the Sauce (optional if not using other sauce)
- When you take the chicken out, place it on a dish close to the oven so it doesn't lose too much heat. I don't cover or it chances losing the crispy top.
- Keep the pan on medium and add the onions to the oil that is left from cooking the chicken. Cook for about 2 minutes.Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt (if using unsalted tomatoes and sauce), basil and oregano.Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken gently keeping one side out of the sauce.
- Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast and place in the oven.Bake at 400°F for about 8 minutes. It is done when it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.