Fresh Chicken Parmesan

By mid-September, I'm often roasting tomatoes at least once a week, having BLTs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and spending lots of time swatting little flies that keep insisting they need to feed off the beautiful tomatoes resting in a bowl on the counter. But lest you think I'm tired of tomatoes, let me hasten to add that it brings me joy. And when it comes to incorporating them into my meals, few dishes satisfy quite the way Fresh Chicken Parmesan does.

In other seasons, carefully crafted tomato sauce would be an essential ingredient in this dish. But now, I simply slice my meatiest tomatoes and let them soften and flavor a simple breaded chicken foundation and sprinkle some grated cheese over the top. Next stop: flavor town!

I like seasoning the breaded chicken fairly lightly and keeping the coating where I want it with the addition of mayonnaise. Those that have been following this space for a while know I gave up a standard egg wash for nearly everything in favor of a quick brush of mayo years ago. It's fast, easy, and works better for nearly everything. Give it a try!

I mention roma tomatoes here, but any ripe, meaty tomato will do. Save the ones with loads and loads of seeds and juice for another use. You want something with some heft and a lot of flesh to take the starring role in this delightfully seasonal recipe. Save that tomato sauce for winter. It will have months of heavy lifting to do then. Now is the time for fresh!

Fresh Chicken Parmesan

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts - sliced into single serving sizes
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. panko or other coarse bread crumbs
  • 2 T. grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 2 T. cooking fat - divided
  • 2 lbs. ripe roma tomatoes - sliced into ¼" slices

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Trim and slice the chicken into single serving sizes. I generally cut one breast in half, lengthwise, as they have gotten enormous over time and half a breast is now a reasonably serving size! Brush the chicken pieces generously with mayonnaise and set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the panko, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and salt. Carefully dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned crumb mixture and place on a wrack to rest while you prepare a skillet.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add half the cooking fat to it; save the other half for cooking the second batch of chicken. Sauté half the chicken pieces in the hot fat, making sure not to crowd the pan and turning after 5 minutes of cooking on the first side. Remove the chicken pieces to the prepared baking pan and set aside. Repeat, adding the other half of the cooking fat to the pan, with the second half of the chicken pieces.

Cover the top of the chicken generously with the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle generously with additional grated parmesan cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked, the tomatoes are warmed, and the parmesan cheese is melted.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes

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