EVERYONE’S FAVORITE CHICKEN PARMESAN

This Chicken Parmesan was such a hit with my daughter, Rosie, she managed to work it into a poem at school two years after first eating it. Waxing poetic about crispy chicken with seasoned bread crumbs probably says more about the recipe than it does about my child’s future as a poet.

But, you never know.

It was my sister-in-law, Lynn, who first made it for us. Like many moms, Lynn finds it frustrating to put time and care into dinner, only to have the kids take a pass. It’s a tricky aspect of parenting and is something I wrote about recently here. This particular recipe, though, always get a thumbs up.

Lynn was given the recipe by her college roommate, who inherited it from her mom, who found it in the Monroe Louisiana Junior League Cookbook. This may explain why the original calls for an entire cup of butter; they do love their butter in the south. It was the first dish Lynn cooked for her then boyfriend (now husband) Mike, and they are still together 20 plus years later.

That’s some chicken.

I’ve tinkered with the recipe a bit, using an egg in place of most of the butter, and offering an option for homemade breadcrumbs. What results is a dish that remains crispy and delicious, but healthier than the original.

We always eat Chicken Parmesan the way Lynn originally served it to us: accompanied by bowls of pasta and marinara sauce, a vegetable dish, or two, and extra Parmesan cheese to pass at the table.

This chicken may not inspire poetry amongst your brood, but it will likely result in a dinner table of plates licked clean.

Auntie Lynn’s Chicken Parmesan

1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, homemade (see below) or Progesso brand
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds), washed and dried

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Clean and dry chicken breasts.

In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, and Parmesan cheese.

Put the melted butter and egg in a separate small bowl, and whisk thoroughly.

Dip the chicken breasts in the egg/butter mixture and then in the breadcrumbs, covering both sides evenly. Set on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 35 minutes until the exterior is brown and the inside cooked through. The time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.

Serve with pasta, marinara sauce, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

Seasoned Breadcrumbs

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
A few grinds of black pepper

Stir together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.

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8  Comments

Comments

  1. 05.10.2011 at 4:16 PM #

    Katie- the chicken sounds like a winner, but we want to read Rosie’s poem, too!

    • 05.10.2011 at 9:59 PM #

      I’ll have to confer with the poet to see if she’s comfortable having her work published!

  2. 05.10.2011 at 7:29 PM #

    Chicken Parm is one of my family’s very favorite dishes. I’ve been looking for ways to shave calories off of this recipe and like how you are baking the chicken instead of frying it (which I admit is what I usually do.) I plan to give your Aunt Lynn’s version a try.

    • 05.10.2011 at 9:59 PM #

      Traditional Italian Parmesan is fried. This achieves a similar crispy texture with far less fat. It’s not as rich as the traditional method, but tasty nevertheless.

  3. Hayley
    05.10.2011 at 9:13 PM #

    Do you have a suggestion for a gluten-free alternative to breadcrumbs?

    • 05.10.2011 at 9:42 PM #

      Good question. With so many folks gluten sensitive these days, it would be nice to have an alternative. I would make homemade breadcrumbs using slightly stale gluten-free bread. Another thought would be to use crushed rice cereal such as Chex rice cereal. Without having tried it myself, I can’t confirm that it will be a slam dunk, but certainly worth a go. Let me know how it is.

  4. Aunt Lynn Morford
    05.11.2011 at 4:54 AM #

    i am so excited to have my recipe featured! !! i can’t wait to try this healthier version! our youngest daughter lily (age 6) loves to help make it — very fun for the kids to help dip the chicken in the breading mixture. i am so curious to see this poem too…

  5. kelly
    05.24.2011 at 3:13 AM #

    I made Auntie Lynn’s Chicken Parmesan and paired it with your recipe for Farro with Roasted Veggies. It was a huge success and my family has asked me to make it again.

    I love your blog & always look forward to reading your next post.

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