Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
You know those days: you have been busy all day, dinner time is looming, and you have no idea what to make. You defrosted some chicken breasts to do something with but failed to figure out what to do with them. It is on those days that one of my go-to dishes is Parmesan Crusted Chicken. It is a dish that I made up one day with on-hand ingredients, it’s fairly easy and everyone loves it.
First, I make the breading. There are two methods: the completely from scratch method or the one-step method.
The From Scratch method uses:
- 4-6 slices sandwich bread (I use whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup Grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp Parsley
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Onion powder — approx 1/2 – 1 tsp of each
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
Basically, I take the sandwich bread and tear it into manageable pieces and put it in a food processor. Then I add the other ingredients and pulse until I have a fine crumb mixture. Pour the breading into a dipping bowl. This method only takes about 5 minutes and is great if I have a bunch of heels or smushed bread that I would just throw away otherwise.
The One-Step method uses the same ingredients, but substitutes Panko bread crumbs for the sandwich bread. I just throw all the ingredients straight into the dipping bowl and stir to combine. I get to skip the food processor step altogether, which works great if I’m completely out of time. Sometimes, however, I just really like to make my own breadcrumbs.
In another dish I will crack 2-3 eggs and beat lightly, then place both dishes side by side near the stove to make the process smoother and less messy.
I buy chicken tenderloins because they are a perfect, manageable size — and by this I mean no cutting — a characteristic I completely adore! For this recipe I am using 3 lbs of tenderloins which will feed my family of eight perfectly. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg, then roll in the bread crumb/parmesan mixture. Set aside in the bowl until I have about 6-8 pieces then the cooking can begin.
I typically pan fry it in about a half-inch of oil for a nice, crispy crust. Heat the oil in a 10 inch skillet until it is shimmering. There will only be enough room in the skillet for approximately 6 tenderloins at a time so it will have to be cooked in batches. After lining the skillet with the chicken, cook until bottom of the chicken is golden brown and the sides are white, then flip. When the new bottom side is golden as well it is done, but you may temp it to 160 with a meat thermometer if you are unsure. Meanwhile, I will continue to bread chicken while the first batch is cooking.
This last time, however, I tried baking it to make it a bit healthier. I poured a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of the dish then placed the chicken in the oil, turning it once, so that both sides have a thin coating allowing it to crisp up. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the chicken reads 160 degrees. This method was good and less time-consumming as I could simply put all the chicken in the oven and walk away instead of standing over a hot stove. My teenage sons ate it up! My husband, however, stated that while it was good, it did not compare to the stove top version. “It just didn’t crisp up the same.”
Serve with some rice and broccoli or a salad and you have a delicious meal in under an hour from start to finish.