Ooey-gooey cheese, crispy breadcrumbs and plenty of sauce are the hallmarks of any good chicken Parmesan recipe, and this one-skillet version of chicken parm is no exception. We made this recipe easier by skipping the breading on the chicken and loading the top of the dish with cheese and breadcrumbs. Serve with whole-wheat pasta to soak up the extra sauce.
- 2 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
Cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to make 4 roughly equal portions. Place between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Combine breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; set aside.
Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken. Transfer the chicken to the plate.
Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour in crushed tomatoes; add Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Turn to coat with the sauce.
Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese over each piece of chicken, then top with the reserved breadcrumb mixture. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. (Watch carefully to prevent burning.) Serve the chicken with the sauce, sprinkled with basil (or parsley).
Tip: To make coarse dry breadcrumbs, spread crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian’s brand, labeled Panko breadcrumbs. Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.