Family-Style Chicken Parmigiana

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For our "Transformation Nation" show, three-time Burger Bash winner Joe Isidori shares one of the most popular dishes at his NYC restaurant, Arthur & Sons. His family-style chicken Parm—classic breaded and fried cutlets baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella and topped with parsley and LOTS of grated Parm—is so good, Rach calls it "stupid!" 

For more Parm inspiration, check out Rach's Mama Leone's-Style Veal Parmigiana and Sheet Pan Meatball Parm Sandwiches

For the Tomato Sauce:
  • ¼ cup sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced onions
  • ½ tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ heaping cup tomato paste (Joe likes Mutti)
  • Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (Joe likes La Valle)
For the Fried Chicken Breasts:
  • 4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast (about 2 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, divided
For Building the Chicken Parmigiana:
  • 4 pieces Fried Chicken Breasts (above)
  • Tomato Sauce (above)
  • 8 slices low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • Sixteen ½-inch cubes fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Chopped parsley

For the tomato sauce, in a pot, toast the garlic in EVOO until golden. Add the onions and cook until soft. While the onions are cooking down, add the granulated garlic and oregano, season with salt and pepper and stir to release their aromatics. Next, add the tomato paste and cook until it turns a lighter rust color. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, then very gently simmer on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. 

For the fried chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Thoroughly dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. Working with one at a time, place a breast between 2 pieces of plastic and flatten by pounding to an even ½ inch thickness. Repeat with remaining breasts. Generously season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. 

Put the flour in a large shallow bowl. Whisk together the eggs and place in a large shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in another large shallow bowl. Dip a piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip in the egg wash, making sure to coat completely and let any excess drain off. Lastly, dip in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat evenly. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces.  

Heat ½ cup of the vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, carefully place 2 pieces of chicken in the pan and fry until the first side is golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.  

Turn down the heat to medium, flip the chicken and cook until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to briefly drain the excess oil, then place on a wire cooling rack set on top of a sheet pan.  

Discard the excess oil and wipe the pan clean. Add the remaining ½ cup oil and repeat the same process with the remaining 2 pieces of chicken. 

For building the chicken Parmigiana, line a 13" x 9" baking pan with some tomato sauce and top with the fried chicken. Equally distribute more tomato sauce over the chicken and top with the sliced mozzarella followed by the mozzarella cubes.  

Bake until the cheese is melted and chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil the cheese until lightly browned. Top with more warmed tomato sauce, if you like. Generously top with shaved Parmesan and finish with parsley.