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.
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.