Parmesan-coated, pan-fried chicken topped with fresh tomato-basil relish makes a light, fresh alternative to classic chicken parmesan.

A plate of pan-fried Parmesan chicken topped with fresh tomato relish served with orzo.

Perfect for a simple summer meal, this lightened-up twist on chicken Parmesan is easy to make and loaded with fresh flavor. It’s made with boneless chicken breasts coated in a combination of panko crumbs and grated Parmesan, shallow-fried until crisp and golden, then topped with a simple relish made with chopped fresh tomato and basil.

Tips for Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken

The secret to this dish is making sure your chicken stays moist and tender. Here are a few tips that will get you pan-frying chicken to tender perfection.

  • Prepare the chicken: If your chicken breasts still have the tenderloins attached, remove and reserve them for another use. One at a time, place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound them to a thickness of about 1/2-inch.
  • Prepare the egg dip: Whisk egg and milk together in a pie plate or other shallow dish. The ratio is 1 tablespoon milk to 1 large egg.
  • Prepare the crumb coating: Combine the breadcrumbs with the garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread the mixture on a dinner plate or sheet of wax paper.
  • Coat the chicken in crumbs: Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip in the egg mixture and turn once or twice to coat. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then lay the chicken on the bed of crumbs and use your fingers to press gently into the mixture to be sure the crumbs adhere. Repeat on the other side.
  • Fry the chicken: Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with about 1/8-inch of vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of bread crumbs to the pan and as soon as they begin to sizzle, the pan is pre-heated. Add the chicken in a single layer and fry until the crumb coating is golden brown and the interior of the chicken is no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Watch the temperature: Every stove is different and you don’t want your crumb coating to burn while the chicken cooks all the way through. Check the bottom of each piece after 1 minute in the pan, and if the crumbs already browning, the heat is too high. Carefully turn the chicken over and reduce the heat.
  • Handle the chicken gently: Use a thin spatula to turn the chicken and be careful so as not to damage the crumb coating.
  • Check for doneness with a thermometer: Use an instant-read thermometer to check the chicken for doneness (165°F). This way you won’t need to cut it and let the juices run out.
  • Let the chicken stand before serving: Place cooked chicken on a paper towel-lined plate and gently blot to absorb the oil from frying. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

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Parmesan-Panko Chicken with Tomato-Basil Relish

Parmesan Chicken with Fresh Tomato Relish

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Parmesan-coated, pan-fried chicken topped with fresh tomato-basil relish makes a light, fresh alternative to classic chicken parmesan.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lb)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the tomato-basil relish:

  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

Instructions

  • Make the relish by combining the tomato, onion and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the basil. Combine well and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
  • If your chicken breasts have tenderloins attached, remove them and reserve for another use. Place the breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound them to a uniform thickness of 1/2-inch.
  • Combine the flour with the garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and spread the mixture on a sheet of wax paper.
  • Whisk the egg and milk together in a small, shallow dish (a pie plate works well for this purpose).
  • Combine the panko and grated parmesan cheese on a second sheet of wax paper.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip both sides in egg, then press the chicken into the panko-parmesan mixture and set aside on a plate.
  • Heat about 1/8-inch of vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken until crisp and golden brown on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  • To serve, plate individual servings of chicken and spoon a portion of the tomato-basil relish (including any juices that may have accumulated) over each piece.
Calories: 256kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 333mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Iron: 2mg
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