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Chicken Parmesan: Dot's Delicious Taste of the Midwest Recipe

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Dot's chicken Parmesan with pasta, mushrooms, and asparagus

Dot's chicken Parmesan with pasta, mushrooms, and asparagus

Dinner Guest Recipe

My husband and I were guests at the home of my husband's boss and his wife many years ago, and the main entree at dinner was chicken Parmesan. Everyone at the table thought that we were eating chicken breasts, only to find out that it was chicken thighs that merely appeared as breast meat. The time was the mid-1970s, and the place was Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

I was not the only one requesting the recipe that night, and Dot graciously shared it with us. It has been one of our tried-and-true recipes all these years later when we wish to recapture those Midwest flavors with an Italian-type flair. It also makes us think of this sweet couple who later became good friends of ours.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

50 min

1 hour 20 min

6 servings


  • 6 chicken thighs, boned, skinned, and flattened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs, or enough to coat the chicken pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or salad oil
  • 3 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Flatten the boneless, skinless chicken thighs with a mallet. (I do it in a plastic freezer bag to keep it from splattering and contaminating other surfaces.)
  2. Beat the egg and combine with the water in a shallow dish.
  3. Put the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish next to the egg dish.
  4. Dip the flattened chicken thighs first in the egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumb mixture, and set aside.
  5. In a stovetop skillet, heat the oil, and add the breaded chicken thighs and brown on both sides.
  6. Mix the tomato sauce with basil, oregano, and thyme. Spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart glass, oblong baking dish.
  7. Place the browned chicken thighs in the dish, overlapping slightly, if necessary.
  8. Cover with the rest of the sauce, and top it with the Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and put the mozzarella cheese over the chicken. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese melts, another 20 minutes or so.
  11. Plate and serve with your choice of accompaniments.
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Serving Suggestions

We have eaten Dot's chicken Parmesan many times over the years. Sometimes we serve it with pasta, as shown in the photo below. Accompanying the pasta, we had a fresh green salad and a sauteed and then baked dish of mushrooms with pieces of green asparagus. A good bottle of chianti wine topped off this latest meal.

Sometimes we serve the chicken and the flavorful sauce over some creamy polenta. Vegetables can vary depending upon eating preferences and what may be fresh and in season.

The cooked chicken also makes a delicious hot or cold sandwich.

Our latest meal using Dot's recipe.

Our latest meal using Dot's recipe.

Dining should be a delightful and a beautiful experience.

— Gauri Khan, interior designer

© 2020 Peggy Woods

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