The Best Chicken Parmesan

The Best Chicken Parmesan recipe definitely lives up to it’s title!  Cook’s Illustrated shows how to make a moist and flavorful chicken filet!

The Best Parmesan Chicken recipe with tips from the pros at Cooks Illustrated! #chicken #Italan |

Anything that touts, the best gets my attention especially when it comes from the pros. I’ve been a subscriber to Cook’s Illustrated Magazine for a lot of years. Cooking is a science experiment! Don’t you think?

It doesn’t matter if you are a new cook or have been experimenting with different recipes for years, there is always something new to learn. Cook’s Illustrated explains why different cooking techniques work and gives details on how they arrived at the end result.

The Best Chicken Parmesan filets lightly fried and then baked to perfection |
Fried and baked for the best results.

I mostly bake my chicken or stir-fry it, but this recipe calls for a shallow fry technique, which means your meat isn’t completely submerged in oil. It has enough oil to crisp up the crust, which no doubt aids in the flavor, confirming the title, The Best Chicken Parmesan.

parmesan chicken on a blue platter

The Best Chicken Parmesan

An Italian classic dish made like the pros. Lightly fried panko covered chicken topped with homemade sauce. Enjoy over pasta or slice and serve over a bed of green salad.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Uncategorized
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 979kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 6 - 8 ouncebonless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally and pounded 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup fontina cheese shredded (I used three cheese mixture)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil I used grape seed
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, oregano, and pepper flakes. Cook stirring until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and sugar. Increase to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and remaining tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle each cutlet with 1/8 teaspoon of salt and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Mix cheeses together and set aside.
  • Whisk egg and flour to together in a shallow dish until smooth. Combine parmesan , panko, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper in second shallow dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Dredge each cutlet in egg mixture, then coat all sides in parmesan mixture. Press lightly if needed to so crumbs stick to the chicken. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.Two at a time, place cutlets in pan and don't move them until bottoms are crispy and golden in color. This takes about 1 1/2 -2 minutes. Carefully flip cutlets, repeating on the second side. Transfer to paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.
  • Place cutlets on a baking sheet and sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over chicken. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, approximately 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and top each with a couple of tablespoons of sauce. Serve immediately.


If part of the chicken is thick, don't pound that section if it is less than 1/2 inch thick.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 979kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 95g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 34g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 312mg | Sodium: 1932mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.

Cooks Illustrated, March & April 2013

Here are some tips I learned while making this recipe. Salting the chicken alters the proteins and helps keep more moisture in the meat. What a difference that simple step makes. I couldn’t believe how moist and tender the chicken cooked.

I also learned that the cheese acts as a barrier between the crispy layer on the chicken and the sauce, so it won’t get soggy as soon as the sauce is added. Sheesh, seems so logical, right?

The Best Chicken Parmesan with a crispy coating and dollop of cheese and sauce |

Keep this recipe handy. I guarantee you will be happy with the results.

Leftovers? Slice the chicken and add it to a green salad or make a parmesan cheese sandwich.

The Best Chicken Parmesan served over a bed of pasta! |

So, I’ve been playing with The Foodie Affair Facebook Page for the past two weeks and kind of like my blog, at times I feel like I am talking to myself – haha! As of right now I have 94 “likes” which is super cool! Thank you “likers” I appreciate YOU! I know I have a lot of “lookers” too because I get general feedback on how many people in cyberspace are checking out what I post, so please let me know you stopped by with a hey!

Are you looking for a particular type of cuisine? Let me know! I have a lot of excellent foodie blogger connections that work really hard on creating great recipes to share.

Hugs Sandra Signature

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    1. Hi Millie, Thanks for taking the time to comment. As I pointed out in the email I sent to you, at the top of the post is a “jump to” button that takes you directly to the recipe card. Hope that’s helpful for readers, but I really appreciate the support when readers scroll through. It helps keep this site free! Best, Sandra

  1. Sorry I cannot “like” your post because I am not on facebook. Your chicken parm sure look yummy, just had dinner but I think I could polish off one of your cutlets.

    1. Thank you, Norma! The comment is just as fantastic as a “like” It took me quite awhile to create a FB page for The Foodie Affair. It’s fun 🙂

  2. Your chicken cutlets have the most beautiful color on them! I love that magazine too and it’s so well done (all the tips and tricks). I’ll have to try this recipe. I can already see its different than how I was taught by my Italian mum. You photographed everything beautifully, by the way. 🙂

    1. Oh, Allison, thank you for the compliment on the photos. I almost didn’t share this recipe because I wasn’t happy with the photos (it happens often 🙂 ), but the Chicken Parmesan was soooo good! Don’t stray too far from your family recipe! Some things are irreplaceable 🙂

      1. i have a question.. I noticed under the directions to cook the sauce it says add sugar. But i didn’t see sugar listed under the ingredients.. i want to try this dish. can you clarify the sugar part for me? Thank you

        1. So sorry for the delay, Lisa and for letting me know I left the sugar out. I was sick with the horrible flu that has been going around. You only need a teaspoon of sugar (if you use it). It cuts the acidity from the tomatoes, but depending on the brand you use you may not need it at all. I often leave it out.