Chicken Cutlet Parmesan

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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3 large whole boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds total), split and trimmed

2 cups milk

4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

6 large eggs, beaten

6 cups unseasoned dry bread crumbs

Pinch coarse salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups Traditional Italian Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, warmed

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Traditional Italian Tomato Sauce:

4 (28-ounce) cans whole Italian plum tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup Chianti or dry red wine

1 tablespoon dried oregano

8 leaves fresh basil

Coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper


  1. Using a meat tenderizer or a heavy skillet, pound the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until flat, about 1/4-inch in thickness. Place the milk, flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow baking dishes. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt. Dip each breast in the following order: milk, flour (shake off excess), eggs, and bread crumbs (press down firmly while coating with bread crumbs). In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat until sizzling. Arrange the chicken breasts in the pan without crowding, cooking in batches if necessary. Reduce the heat, and cook the chicken until golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp fork, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet lined with paper towels; pat to remove excess oil. Place 1/2 cup of the warm tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch flameproof baking dish. Add 3 of the cooked breasts to the baking dish; cover with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and half the sliced mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and sauce, and top with mozzarella. Transfer to broiler, and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from broiler, and serve immediately.

Traditional Italian Tomato Sauce:

Yield: about 9 cups
  1. Puree the tomatoes in a food mill, removing most of the seeds. In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add garlic, and saute until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes. While the oil is sizzling, slowly add half of the pureed tomatoes and the wine, stirring to mix. Add remaining tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and let simmer. Add the oregano, and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. The sauce may be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days, or in the freezer for 1 month.