Chicken Parmigiana
(Chicken Parmesan)
Italian Recipe

When you add homemade marinara sauce to your Chicken Parmigiana, it will blow your favorite restaurant right out of the water. Serve on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. And those pesky leftovers?—enjoy them warmed and served atop a fresh artisan bun.

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Serves 4 servings
Marinara Sauce
 3  tablespoons  olive oil
 1  whole  bay leaf
 1  large  onion, minced
 1  carrot, finely chopped
 1  tablespoon  crushed garlic
 1  cup  red wine (drinking quality)
 2  tablespoons  fresh basil, chopped
 1  tablespoon  fresh oregano, chopped
 1  tablespoon  fresh thyme leaves, chopped
 ~1  teaspoon  salt, divided
 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
 1/8  teaspoon  cayenne pepper
 1  cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
 8  ounces  buffalo mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced
 ~  basil leaves, for garnish
Chicken Cutlets
 3  8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts*
 ~  salt
 ~  pepper
 ~  flour, for dredging
 ~4  eggs, beaten
 1  cup breadcrumbs**
 4–6  tablespoons  vegetable oil for frying, divided

*About 1 1/2 pounds of meat.

**Unless you have a stash of homemade breadcrumbs, use store-bought for this dish. They keep things simple and save you time.


Marinara Sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the onion and carrot, sautéing until soft.
  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and sauté briefly.
  4. Add the tomatoes, wine, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a bubbling simmer.
  5. Stir in ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese, mixing well to incorporate.
  6. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  7. If you prefer a smoother sauce, pour into a blender and process. Set aside.


  1. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally.
  2. Pound the meat to a ¼-inch thickness using a flat-sided mallet, taking care not to over-pound the meat.
  3. Season cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides. Move to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2–4 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and bring cutlets to room temperature.
  5. Blot the cutlets with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  6. Cover a plate with flour for dredging.
  7. Dredge each cutlet in the flour, shaking to remove excess.
  8. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle.
  9. Working in batches, fry 3–4 cutlets at a time until golden, approximately 3 minutes. Turn the meat over and fry for another 2­–3 minutes or until cooked through. Adjust heat to prevent burning.
  10. Remove the cutlets and keep warm in a low oven.
  11. Add a bit more oil to the skillet and repeat the process until all cutlets are cooked. 


Have a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish ready for step 6.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

  1. Spread a small amount of sauce in the baking dish.
  2. Arrange the chicken cutlets in a single layer and top with remaining sauce.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the cutlets and top with the sliced mozzarella.
  4. Place in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
Preparation Time: 
Approximately 45 minutes preparation and cooking with 2+ hours marinating