I try to keep my food life interesting by using one main component of a meal several different ways to keep things easy while not having to eat the same thing all week long. I did the same thing here; I made my chicken francese one night and then made the following chicken parm a couple of nights later. When I was prepping the chicken for the first night (by cleaning and pounding it to about 1/4 inch thick) I did twice as much chicken as I needed then prepared half in the first recipe and and put the rest of the raw chicken back in the fridge and used it 2 nights later. Doing so takes a little extra time the first night, but compared to the time it saves you later it’s worth it since you already have everything out and going. Now, if you are going to do something like this just be aware of expiration dates on the food so you aren’t letting it go bad while waiting to use it later in the week.
Now on to the recipe.. This chicken parmesan is ahh-maz-ing, not to mention it’s not fried so it’s much more figure friendly then the normal deep fried version. It also really doesn’t take too long to prepare especially when you do what I did and use jarred spaghetti sauce (GASP, I know, how dare I not make my own!). I know some foodies frown upon things like this but lets be real, life is busy and we don’t always have time to make a homemade sauce. I always keep jarred spaghetti sauce in the pantry for occasions when I don’t have time to make my own, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Not to promote any brand, but I always keep Classico on hand because it’s one of the healthiest and the most flavorful sauces I have found. I actually used a new flavor, Florentine Spinach and Cheese, and it was great. Again, I’m not promoting it merely telling you what I use and prefer. So sauce-wise make your own, use somebody elses, or buy some just make this recipe because it’s great! I served mine over some warm whole-wheat pasta which I also highly recommend. Enjoy 🙂
Chicken Parmesan Lightened Up (Print Me)
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 egg and 2 egg whites
1 Tbsp water
Vegetable oil spray
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/4 inch thick
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Basil (optional, for garnish)
Preheat your oven to 475º. To prepare the chicken, place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet pound the chicken breasts until they are about 1/4-inch thick (if the chicken is really thick you can also slice it in half to make two thinner pieces before doing so).
Combine the panko and oil in a large skillet over medium heat, toast panko until golden, stirring often (5-10 minutes). Transfer the breadcrumbs to a shallow dish and let cool; once cooled add the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and combine.
Combine the flour and garlic powder in another shallow dish. In a third, whisk the egg, egg whites, and water together. Spray a wire rack with vegetable oil spray and place over a baking sheet. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one piece at a time, dredge the chicken in flour, dip in egg, then coat with toasted breadcrumbs, pressing them to adhere. Lay the breaded chicken on the wire rack, when all are done spray the tops of the chicken lightly with vegetable oil spray.
Bake the chicken until it reaches 150º-160º, about 8-10 minutes. Top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons of sauce and shredded Parmesan (you could also use mozzarella here) then place back in the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted and the chicken is 160º-165º (another 3-5 minutes). Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Slightly adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook