2boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
Cooking oil for frying
4hamburger or ciabatta buns, or try a garlic bread baguette sliced Butter or olive oil, for buns
For Breading Chicken:
1cupall purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1cupItalian dried bread crumbs
1cupmarinara or tomato sauce , homemade or store-bought
Fresh basil leaves, or a bit of dried basil
Sliced mozzarella or Provolone cheese
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Cut the chicken breasts in half, by slicing in half from the long sides and across. (Tip!! This is easier if the chicken is still slightly frozen). Pound the chicken a bit until it is evenly thick. Don't pound so much that it becomes mushy. I find it is better to pound the outside surface, rather than the cut side. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Set up 3 bowls. To the first bowl, add the flour and some salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the 2nd bowl, and whisk with a fork. To the 3rd bowl, add the dried Italian bread crumbs and the Parmesan and stir together. Take one piece of chicken and coat in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip into the egg and let the excess drip off. Place into the bread crumb mixture and press the crumbs onto the chicken until you have an even coating. Place onto a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, placing onto plate without over-lapping. Place plate, uncovered, into the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside. Heat marinara sauce in a small saucepan and keep warm.
When chicken has chilled, add enough oil in a large skillet to come up about half the height of the chicken (1/2-3/4-inch-ish). Heat over medium-high heat. Add a small piece of breading to the oil to test. It should sizzle. Add chicken to the skillet and cook, turning several times, until evenly golden. Remove to a cooling rack to rest for a few minutes. (*Can be done ahead to this point, then covered loosely and refrigerated. Re-heat/re-crisp later in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Add toppings, increase oven temperature to 425F, add toppings and finish.)
Place chicken on baking sheet. Place a dollop of marinara in the centre of the chicken. (*You don't want to spread it entirely over the top or the breading will get soggy. It's nicer to keep as much crispy as we can.) Top with a fresh basil leaf and cover with a slice of cheese (be sure to cover the basil with cheese, so it doesn't burn). Place into preheated 425F oven and cook until the cheese is melted.
While chicken is in the oven, brush insides of your bun with butter or olive oil (or garlic-infused olive oil, if you like) and toast, cut side down, in a dry non-stick skillet until golden.
Place chicken onto toasted bun. Add a bit more marinara to the bun, if you like, either on top of the cheese on the chicken or on the bottom bottom before placing the chicken on top.
Be sure to read the Ingredient and Cook's Notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips on making this recipe. You will also find an FAQ there, as well as Step-by-Step photos.