I grew up with chicken cutlets being the norm once a week. One of the first recipes I taught my nephew Blake was how to make this crispy chicken with cheese. It’s one of his favorites – and auntie’s, too!
Preheat the broiler. Place wire racks over 2 sheet pans. Cut two 12-inch sheets of plastic wrap.
Place one sheet of plastic on a clean cutting board. Put one chicken piece in the center of the plastic and top with the other sheet of plastic. Pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat mallet, starting in the center and working your way to the edges, until the chicken is 1/4-inch thick.
Heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
Meanwhile, combine the panko, all but 2 of the basil leaves and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a food processor and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a small sheet pan or plate. Place the flour on a second small sheet pan or plate and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs, mustard and 2 tablespoons of water together in a shallow bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Begin by dipping one piece of chicken into the flour, then into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture to coat completely. Set the breaded cutlet on one of the wire racks. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high. Cook the cutlets in two batches until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the second wire rack and sprinkle with salt.
While the chicken is frying, prepare the sauce.
Combine the passata, garlic and reserved 2 leaves of basil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Place the sliced rolls on a sheet pan. Broil the rolls until just toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Top each fried chicken cutlet with the sauce and a few slices of mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes.
Place each chicken parm cutlet onto the bottom half of a roll. (If chicken is too wide, cut lengthwise and stack the chicken so it all fits.) Top with more sauce and the top buns. Slice in half and take a crunchy bite!