This is one of my hubby’s favorite Italian dinners, so I had to figure out a way to make it figure friendly. Luckily, it was a very easy proposition! Instead of deep drying the breaded chicken cutlets, we’ll use Panko breadcrumbs to increase the crunch factor, and a non-stick skillet to get the brown and crunchy crust that any self-respecting chicken parm should have. You get all the satisfying “fried” factor, with none of the fried!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Olive oil cooking spray or a Misto spritzer
Salt and Pepper
2 cups pasta sauce
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzerella cheese
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
Place a chicken breast into a gallon sized ziptop bag and gently pound it with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until it’s 1/2″ in thickness and evenly flat. Repeat with the other 3 chicken breasts.
Prepare your breading station. You will need 3 vessels for your breading items, one for the whole wheat flour, one for the egg/water mixture, and one for your panko. I like putting the panko into a gallon sized resealable bag. It makes the job of coating the chicken very easy, and there’s no flying bread crumb mess!
Season the whole wheat flour with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add the chopped parsley to the beaten egg mixture, and add 1/4 cup of grated parmigiano into the panko.
Now you’re ready to bread! First, coat each side of the chicken breast with a thin layer of the seasoned whole wheat flour.
Next, dip into the egg & parsley mixture, allowing the excess to drip off.
Finally, toss the chicken breast into the bag with the seasoned panko mixture, seal the bag and toss to coat.
Now it’s time to get our crunchification on! Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat & spray with a light coating of olive oil spray. Next, spray each side of the breaded chicken cutlet with olive oil spray and place into the pan.
Place the cutlets into the pan, and brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. You’re probably wondering, why don’t I just do this in the oven? Good question! If you were to put the chicken into the oven, the underside would get soggy while the top browns. In order to prevent that, this method crisps both sides of the chicken, so you can get the crunch factor we’re looking for, and the oven will finish the cooking process! Problem solved!
Once all the chicken is browned, place a baking rack onto a baking sheet, and broil the chicken at 375F for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it’s cooked through.
And finally, it’s Parmesan time!
Pour 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Lay your chicken cutlets in a flat layer, and top each with 1/4 cup of pasta sauce. Spread the sauce out evenly to coat. Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of mozzerella on each chicken cutlet, and sprinkle everything with the remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano. If you’d like, sprinkle some dried parsley (or basil, or Italian seasoning) on top.
Bake these beauties at 400F for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is gooey and melted and DELISH!
Serve alongside some whole wheat pasta, some crusty garlic bread, or even just a salad! Try my unfried technique on eggplant, pork cutlets, and more! You’ll wonder why you ever bothered to fry at all.