skillet chicken parmesan
1¾ to 2 pounds chicken breast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggS
2 cups panko-style breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Red-pepper flakes, to taste
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces
Prepare the chicken: Pat the chicken dry. If you'd like thinner cutlets (but I rarely bother), you can pound them flatter between two pieces of plastic wrap with a flat-sided mallet or even the back of a heavy frying pan--l've done it all. Arrange the chicken on a large tray, and season well on both sides with salt and pepper.
Coat the chicken: In one wide, shallow bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until loose. Fill a second wide, shallow bowl with breadcrumbs and 1 cup of the Parmesan. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, let all excess drip off, and then dip the chicken into the crumbs, pressing carefully so that the crumbs stay on. Return each coated chicken thigh to the tray where you seasoned the chicken, and repeat with the remaining pieces.
Fry the cutlets: Pour just about ½ inch of vegetable oil into an 11-to-12-inch frying pan, and heat over medium-high heat until a droplet of water flicked into the pan hisses dramatically, or until the temperature is 350°F (175°C). Place your first few breaded cutlets in the oil--but don't crowd them, or it will lower the temperature a lot, leading to heavier and greasier chicken. Cook the chicken, flipping once, until it's deep golden brown on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side and 3 to 4 on the sec-ond. Remove the chicken from the oil, letting the excess oil drip off for 10 to 20 seconds, and drain it on paper towels or paper bags. Season right away, while still sizzling hot, with salt. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
Make the sauce: Drain (and safely discard) the vegetable oil, and wipe out the pan. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, oregano, and some pepper flakes, and let sizzle until the garlic is golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (beware the splatter!), and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's a little thicker and saucier.
You should have about 3 cups of sauce.
Heat your oven: Heat your oven's broiler, or if there's no broiler, heat your oven to its top temperature.
Assemble the dish: Remove about half of the tomato sauce (a generous 1½ cups) from the pan, and set it aside. Arrange the chicken cutlets in the sauce in the pan, slightly overlapped. Spoon ½ to 1 cup of the reserved sauce on top, leaving some edges of the chicken exposed. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan and all of the mozzarella.
Finish and serve: Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until bubbly ad golden on top, 5 to 10 minutes. Finish with fresh herbs, and serve wit 1the remaining sauce on the side.