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Volume 52

Dinner This Week: Chicken Parmesan

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Chicken Parmesan, Cheese Soufflé, and Garlicky Roasted Shrimp for dinner in about an hour.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Chicken Parmesan and Pan-Steamed Broccolini

Traditional Chicken Parmesan is a minefield of potential problems: dry meat, a soggy crust, and a chewy blanket of mozzarella. To keep the meat moist, we salt the cutlets for 20 minutes. To ensure a crunchy coating, we replace more than half of the starchy (and consequently sog-prone) bread crumbs with grated Parmesan cheese. For a tender cheese topping, we mix the usual shredded mozzarella with creamy fontina. For Pan-Steamed Broccolini with Lemon and Capers, we split the thicker stems lengthwise so that they are the same size as the thinner ones, allowing for even cooking along the length of the vegetable.

Printable Shopping Lists: Chicken Parmesan and Pan-Steamed Broccolini

Equipment Review The Best 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

Step 1: Buy the best skillet. Step 2: Treat it right.

Dinner 2: Cheese Soufflé and Bibb and Arugula Salad

Our Cheese Soufflé has bold cheese flavor, good stature, and a light, but not-too-airy texture—all without the fussiness of most recipes. To bump up the taste of the cheese without weighing down the soufflé, we combine light-but-potent Parmesan cheese with nutty Gruyère. To get the texture just right while keeping the preparation simple, we beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, and then—rather than carefully folding the whites into the cheese béchamel—we just add the sauce to the egg whites in the mixer and beat everything until it is uniform. Our Bibb and Arugula Salad with Pear and Goat Cheese uses a combination of peppery arugula and soft, buttery bibb lettuce. Thin slices of subtly sweet pear incorporate easily with the greens. Pepitas add crunch, while soft, tangy goat cheese contributes richness. We use lemon juice as the base of the dressing because it pairs well with the sweetness of the fruit.

Printable Shopping Lists: Cheese Soufflé and Bibb and Arugula Salad

Equipment Review Inexpensive Stand Mixers

We tested six models priced under $200 against our previous winner. Could any stand up to the challenge?

Dinner 3: Roasted Shrimp and Quinoa Pilaf

To keep our Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime plump and moist, we brine the shrimp briefly and then broil them in their shells. The shells brown quickly in the heat of the oven and transfer roasted flavor to the shrimp. To develop nuttiness in our Quinoa Pilaf with Chipotle, Queso Fresco, and Peanuts, we toast the grains in a dry skillet before adding liquid. We then season the pilaf with boldly flavored chipotle chiles and cumin.

Printable Shopping Lists: Garlicky Roasted Shrimp and Quinoa Pilaf


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.