Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Chicken is the ultimate dinner staple. It’s delicious, versatile and makes any dish feel like a hearty meal. So, this month, we’ll be sharing easy chicken recipes. First up is this one-pot recipe from Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, authors of The Dinner Plan. Here’s how to make it in less than 30 minutes…

Skillet Chicken Parm
By Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion from The Dinner Plan

It took some trial and error to adapt this Italian favorite into a weeknight-friendly recipe, but we think we nailed it. We skipped breading the chicken to save time and keep things more healthful (and surprisingly didn’t really miss it). The sauce, which cooks for only about 15 minutes, is also lighter and fresher tasting. There’s still plenty of gooey cheese, though, and the garlic, pepper flakes and oregano lend big flavor. We like to serve it alongside pasta or in a hoagie roll with the sauce (there’s lots of it) spooned on top.

Skillet Chicken Parm
Serves 4

You’ll need:

2 tbsp olive oil
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups shredded packaged mozzarella or sliced fresh mozzarella, patted dry
Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional)
Handful of fresh basil leaves (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F, with a rack in the middle position. In a large high-sided sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, add to the pan, and cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Flip the pieces over and cook 1 minute more.

Sprinkle the garlic around the chicken, followed by the pepper flakes and oregano. Pour the tomatoes evenly over the chicken, season with salt and pepper, then gently shake the pan to distribute the sauce (you can also do this with a small spoon). Top the chicken with the mozzarella and Parmesan (if using) to taste.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is just cooked through, about 12 to 14 minutes. (Brown it under the broiler, if you like.) Once it’s off the heat, top with the basil leaves (if using), tearing any large ones. Let the Parm rest for about 5 minutes before serving and keep the pan’s handle covered with an oven mitt; it’s easy to forget it’s hot. Serve with more Parmesan cheese, if you like.

Note: If you want to make the recipe ahead of time, skip preheating the oven and refrigerate the dish after adding cheese (covered, for up to one day). Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking, uncovered. We prefer to do this rather than reheating the finished dish because chicken breasts dry out very easily.

Thank you so much, Kathy and Caroline! Your new cookbook is a game-changer.

P.S. Chicken parm meatballs, and pan-fried beans and greens.

(Recipe excerpted from The Dinner Plan, by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion. Published by Abrams. Photo by Maura McEvoy. This series is edited by Stella Blackmon.)