How to: Easy (Healthy) Chicken Parmesan

My husband’s second favorite food is chicken parmesan.

Guess how many times I have made it?

If you said never, then you correctly assume I am a terrible wife.

Ok, maybe not TERRIBLE. I mean, I’ve made his FIRST favorite food multiple times. But still. Something was lacking in my wifedom.

So on my drive home from work last night, I decided to make it right. On my big grocery trip, I had purchased several chicken cutlets with the intention of doing…something with them. Something that Joey could take for lunch in a sandwich of sort. Now I figured, why not bread those bad boys?

First, I had to find a recipe that wouldn’t take over an hour to complete. Did you know that most of the recipes take OVER AN HOUR to complete? I don’t know about you, but when I’m making dinner, it takes an hour TOPS unless it’s for a special occasion. Chicken parmesan would be no exception.

I found two recipes that I figured I could combine. One was this Easy Chicken Parmesan version. I was drawn to it because “easy” was in the title. The second was the recipe on the back of the bread crumbs tube. I liked that one because it nixed the frying step. And since I’m all for recipes that DON’T send us into cardiac arrest (again, except the favorite food…that’s a special exception), I chose to incorporate that recipe as well. I also took some liberties, if you will, with the breading. Here’s the breakdown.

Step one: In a bowl, crack one egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk together. In a shallow dish, mix about a cup of bread crumbs, a few tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and (and this is the kicker) half a cup of crushed up Doritos. I went with the pizza flavor because we had a few left in a bag in the pantry and I thought, “What the heck?”

{egg mixture, crumb mixture}

Step two: Spray cooking spray on the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Take your chicken cutlets (or chicken breasts sliced/pounded to be about 1/2 an inch thick) and dip them first into the egg mixture, then coat them with the bread crumb mixture.

{chicken, breaded}

**Note: There is some debate in the world of chicken parmesan as to whether you should dip the chicken in the egg mixture or the crumb mixture first. I’ve had it both ways, but since I didn’t plan on frying this version, I decided the egg mixture first would help the crumbs stick better. I don’t regret that decision.

Step three: Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees. About 3-4 minutes before the chicken is done baking, top each piece with a couple slices of fresh mozzarella.

{chicken and cheese, baking}

Step four: Serve with spaghetti and marinara. Top with additional shredded mozzarella if desired.

{chicken and cheese, baked}
{chicken parmesan}

Result: Success! We both cleaned our plates.

{clean plates}

Some of us even had seconds.

{happy husband}

And requested that we make Wednesdays “Chicken Parmesan Night.”

And you know what? Now that I have a recipe that only takes half an hour and is fairly healthy (certain slabs of cheese aside), we just might make that happen.