Crunchy Baked Chicken Parmigiana

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Crunchy Baked Chicken Parmigiana

When I was growing up, chicken parmigiana used to be my favorite dish. I honestly ordered it whenever we would go out for Italian food. I don’t eat it very often now–or ever really– because at restaurants it always seems to be deep fried and calorie loaded. Fried food and I aren’t friends (unless it’s french fries a few times a year–they are my fried food weakness).

Anyhow, Matt was having a severe craving for chicken parm, so I decided to make it healthier by baking it in the oven and serving it with whole grain pasta. I breaded the chicken with whole grain seasoned bread crumbs, old fashioned oats, and a few hefty tablespoons of really crunchy Japanese panko breadcrumbs. The end result was so crispy it was a really great mimic for fried chicken but without all the calories. I’d like to try this coating again for chicken tenders because I think that those will even get crispier. I had never added old fashioned oats to a breading before but it was without a doubt, my favorite part of the breading. The longest part of this meal was waiting for the chicken to cook in the oven–I had enough time to unload some groceries and do the dishes. The only thing I think I’d change about this recipe is that next time I’ll pound the chicken breasts out into thinner pieces as I prefer my chicken to be thinner for whatever reason (I normally always do this but tonight forgot I guess). This recipe is super easy to make and will be ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

The Ingredients:

Necessary equipment: baking rack & baking sheet

  • Seasoned whole grain breadcrumbs
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Old fashioned Oats 
  • Flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cooking Spray 
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  • Set up a “breading station” using 3 bowls
  • 1st bowl–flour with salt & pepper
  • 2nd bowl: 1 egg mixed with a little milk
  • 3rd bowl: breadcrumbs & oats (I breaded 2 chicken breasts with this recipe: I used about 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, & a 1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs)
  • Dredge chicken in flour & shake off excess flour (this gives something for the egg to stick to)
  • Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake off excess (this acts like glue for the breadcrumbs)
  • Coat chicken liberally with breadcrumbs, pushing down to make sure all the breading sticks
  • Transfer chicken breasts to a baking rack positioned over a baking sheet
  • Spray each chicken breast with cooking spray to ensure they get really crispy
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees
  • Broil chicken for the last 1-2 minutes so the crust gets golden brown and crunchy (If desired you can top your chicken with a tablespoon of cheese before broiling the chicken and top with sauce that has been preheated on the stove)
  • Serve with a side or pasta and your favorite vegetable

Great alternative for the traditional deep fried version of this meal. I think you’ll enjoy it as chicken parm or as chicken tenders. The oats are by far the best part. Enjoy!

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