A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Chicken Parmesan

It’s a beautiful fall day and you start smelling fresh tomato sauce, bubbling mozzarella cheese, and sizzling fried chicken coming from the kitchen. Who is the culprit for this delicious attack on your senses? Well, it’s the one and only: chicken parmesan.

The origin of chicken parmesan, or as it’s called in Italy “pollo alla Parmigiana,” is unclear, but one theory is that it was first introduced in Italian-American neighborhoods during the 1950s. Before protein like chicken were widely available, eggplants replaced chicken and the dish was called melanzane alla Parmigiana, or eggplant parmesan.1 The iconic chicken parmesan usually consists of a thin piece of chicken breast coated with bread crumbs covered in tomato sauce and cheese. Many also put this on top of some pasta.

Everything you’ll need for this recipe is:

  • Italian breadcrumbs
  • A generous amount of flour
  • At Least a couple eggs
  • Olive oil or any type of cooking oil
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese in any form

(Amounts vary depending on how much chicken parmesan you plan on making)


Do not wash your chicken! All this does is spread salmonella throughout your kitchen.

You need to be very cautious while dealing with raw meats! Keep washing your hands and do not cross-contaminate. 

Step one: Flatten that chicken!

The first thing to do when making chicken parmesan is to flatten your chicken breast with a mallet or the back of a frying pan. Make sure the whole breast is an even thickness so that the chicken cooks evenly. No need to make it paper thin but around a half-inch should be good.

Step two: Prepare your breading stations

The next step is to prepare 3 stations, 2 large-ish flat bowls, and one baking sheet.

 In the first station, use a bowl with flour in it. You should put enough flour so you can coat the entire chicken cutlet. Within this flour, you should put a generous amount of seasonings of your choice. It’s best to use garlic powder, salt, and some pepper, then mix it all up. 

*TIP* It’s recommended to use seasoning in your flour generously if you want the flavors to come through after it’s fried.

In the second station, crack eggs and the bowl and whisk it up. The amount of eggs depends on the amount of chicken you are making, but 2 is good to start. It’s also a good idea to add a pinch of flour to the egg whisk to allow it to stick to the chicken better.

For the last station, you will be using the tray. In the tray, pour a generous amount of bread crumbs to make sure you can cover the entire chicken cutlet. 

Step 3: Start breading

Gloves are recommended because it’s about to get a little messy!

First, fully coat the chicken in flour on both sides. Make sure to get every inch because you want it to fry everywhere.

After the chicken is fully coated in flour, you will place it in the egg wash. Similar to the flour, you coat it fully on both sides.

After the wash, you place the chicken in the breadcrumbs and make sure every crevice is covered. Once you’re satisfied, just leave the chicken in the tray on some breadcrumbs.

Repeat the process for any other cutlets you have.

You should add more flour, eggs, or breadcrumbs if there isn’t much left in the station.

Once all your chicken cutlets are nicely coated and resting in the tray, you can let it sit for 5-20 minutes to make sure the breadcrumbs are able to stick.

Step 4: Fry it!

Grab a decently sized pan and fill it with olive oil or any other type of cooking oil. For a lighter fry, only cover the bottom of the pan. For a deeper fry, put enough so that the chicken can be close to fully submerged in the oil.

Also, prepare a plate(s) with napkins on it to place the chicken after frying it.

When working with hot oil, be sure to be very careful and avoid any splashing.

Heat your oil to about 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer for cooking then just make sure it’s pretty hot but not boiling while nothing is in it (it’s ok to see bubbles when the chicken is in it). 

Lay down the chicken away from you to avoid splashing burning oil onto yourself. 

When you do this make sure you are on your toes because these fry fast. Each piece of chicken should take around 1 ½ – 3 minutes on each side but keep checking to make sure nothing burns. Since the cuts are thin, they should be able to cook all the way through in no time.

Once fried, place the chicken on a plate with napkins to allow any excess oil to be soaked up and proceed to the next piece.

Step 5: Finish it up

Lastly, you want to put cheese and sauce on the chicken and then broil it in the oven.

If you’ve never broiled, don’t worry!

Every oven is different, so if you are confused at all, look up your type of oven or ask someone who might know how to work it.

The amount of cheese and sauce you put on it is all up to you so just experiment to your liking. Also if you want to be fancy you can have some basil on it as well.

Make sure to watch your creation very closely while broiling because it can burn easily.

Step 6: Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the result! Once you finish eating it, you should make some mental notes of what you would change for the nextime to make it more suitable for your own taste.