The exact origins of Parmigiana is unclear, but one thing is for sure—it’s a classic comfort food, particularly for Test Kitchen Director Farideh Sadeghin. Simply bread your chicken (you could use veal or eggplant instead), fry it, layer with some easy homemade red sauce and mozzarella, and bake. Dinner, simple as that.
Featured in: The Easiest Way to Great Chicken Parmigiana
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 tbsp. sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
6 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
4 chicken breasts (about 1 1⁄2 lbs.)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and torn
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Add the onions and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, and 1⁄3 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 20 minutes. Add the butter and stir to melt. Transfer sauce to a blender and purée until smooth.
Heat oven to 375°. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow dishes. Mix breadcrumbs and 1⁄4 cup parmesan in a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in eggs; coat in breadcrumbs and transfer to a plate. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, and adding remaining oil as needed, cook chicken, flipping once, until golden, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet in a single layer.
Spread 1 cup sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with chicken in a single layer. Top chicken with 1⁄4 cup sauce and top each piece with mozzarella. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon sauce over top of all the chicken, saving any remaining for another use. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
Bake chicken until sauce is bubbling and chicken is nearly cooked, about 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature to broil and cook until cheese is bubbling and golden, 3-4 minutes more.