Chicken Parmigiana

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Serves: 4

This is a perfect meal for the picky eater. This meal combines all that is delicious about pasta and a simple red sauce and then goes as far as to top it off with lightly fried chicken breasts and cheese. Chicken Parmigiana is definitely not a meal for the faint of heart. It is, however, a welcome comfort food when the weather is cool outside. To increase your family’s fiber intake, try substituting your favourite brand of whole grain pasta.


extra virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts
4 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra for sprinkling
1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
1 lb (0.5 kg) spaghetti
1/2 cup (125 mL) onions, finely-chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 fl oz (830 mL) whole peeled tomatoes
1 can crushed tomatoes, with added purée
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
1 1/2 tbsp (25 mL) oregano, dried, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) basil, dried
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) hot red chili pepper flakes
basil, fresh, chiffonade


1 Begin by making the sauce. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil and add the onion. Sauté until translucent then add garlic. Stir in 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oregano, basil and chili flakes. Add can of whole peeled tomatoes and can of crushed tomatoes (included the juice). Stir in sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then begin breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour. Set aside.
2 Preheat oven to 350ºF (175°C).
3 Crack eggs into a bowl and mix. In a separate bowl add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and remaining ½ tablespoon (7.5 mL) dried oregano. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
4 In a skillet, heat 1 inch of olive oil until hot but not smoking (keep a close eye on it). Dip each chicken breast in the egg then breadcrumbs and repeat so that each chicken breast has been double dipped. Repeat with remaining breasts.
5 Fry each of the breasts on either side until golden. Move to a baking sheet or ovenproof dish. Top each breast with a ladle of sauce and ¼ cup (60 mL) of grated mozzarella.
6 Place baking dish with chicken in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C) and the cheese is bubbling. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente.
7 Drain the spaghetti, return to the pot and toss with a light coating of sauce (about 1½ cups (375 mL)).
8 Divide spaghetti between warmed dinner plates and top with a chicken breast. Sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil. Serve immediately.