Make Jerry Seinfeld’s 60th Birthday Dinner: Homemade Chicken Parmesan

04/29/2014 at 01:48 PM ET

Jerry Seinfeld’s 60th Birthday Dinner
Kevin Mazur/Getty; Courtesy Jessica Seinfeld

When you’re Jerry Seinfeld turning 60, you could celebrate your birthday eve at any restaurant in the world. But the legendary funnyman chose to spend the night at home, enjoying wife Jessica Seinfeld’s classic chicken parmesan and coconut lemon cake.

Of course, staying in is that much more delicious when your spouse is a three-time cookbook author and the recipe has a sweet story behind it. Jessica told PEOPLE that she impressed Jerry by making chicken parm on their first date. “He was like, ‘You wanna go out to dinner?’ I was like, ‘No I’ll cook,’ and he was shocked by that. It was fascinating to him,” she said in a recent exclusive interview.

On Monday night, Jessica posted this shot of the recipe’s individual ingredients to Instagram, with the following caption: “Still Life of Husband’s 60th Birthday Meal Without The Raw Chicken Because I Knew People Would Complain.”

We snagged the chicken parmesan recipe from The Can’t Cook Book, Jessica’s latest collection of recipes. In this traditional version, crispy fried chicken breasts get smothered in cheese and marinara sauce and baked for 15 minutes. Jessica has had a long time to perfect these cutlets: She’s been making them since she was 17.

For the top of the coconut lemon cake, it looks like Jessica used edible rice wafer paper to craft a handwritten message from the entire family. Along with the names of the couple’s three children (Sascha, 13, Julian, 11, and Shepherd, 8), she added a shout-out to the family’s two dachshunds, Jose and Foxy Brown.

Whether or not it’s his birthday, it sounds like Jessica has given her husband the best gift of all: The chance to eat delicious, home-cooked food on a daily basis. As she told USA Today, “[Jerry] grew up having cereal for dinner every night. His mom tried to feed him well, but I don’t think he wanted anything to do with it.”

Chicken Parmesan
Serves 4

4 chicken cutlets
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tbsp. grated parmesan
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
Marinara sauce (recipe below)
Grated parmesan, to taste
Shredded or sliced mozarella cheese, to taste

1. Space the cutlets 2-inches apart on the cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or a rolling pin, pound to an even 1/4-inch thickness.

2. Set up your breading station: Get out 3 dinner plates and 1 shallow bowl. Place the flour in one plate. In the shallow bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. On the second plate, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Place a clean plate nearby for the breaded cutlets.

3. Using one hand, dip each cutlet in the flour, then in the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drop off before finally dipping in the bread crumb mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place the cutlets on the clean plate.

4. Place your large skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Measure and pour 3 tbsp. of the oil and heat until it shimmers (1 to 2 minutes). Using tongs, add 2 of the cutlets  (they should sizzle) and cook 3-4 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown. Flick them and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

5. Transfer the crisp chicken to a baking dish, cover with marinara (recipe below), top with grated parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes; serve immediately.

Marinara Sauce

1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Place a large saucepan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Measure and put in the oil and heat until simmering (1 to 2 minutes). Scoop up the chopped garlic with your knife and add to the pot. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until light golden brown, about 1 minute.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes. Then stir in the salt, red pepper and black pepper (12 turns on a pepper mill). Return to heat and let come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer (low boil), stirring often, for 15 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick and starts to sputter, add up to ½ cup water for desired consistency.

—Lexi Dwyer

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Showing 24 comments

Anonymous on

She probably cooked him dinner on their first date because she was still married to Eric Neiderlander and didn’t want anyone to see her cheating on her husband she was only married to for three weeks at the time she hooked up with Jerry….don’t glamorize the truth, People Magazine…

michelle on

Cheater

Anonymous on

Their “first date” happened when she was recently married to another man, so they probably stayed in so paparazzi wouldn’t get a shot.

Karolina on

I know these two seem to be happy and have been together for a number of years, but I can’t help remembering how she basically came back from her honeymoon with her first husband and started her affair with Jerry..then divorced her husband right after – it just seems so in bad taste.

Jeez on

Wow, let it go people. This was over 14 years ago.

Anonymous on

I knew from the moment I saw her with him, that she would make him a good wife. Glad he saw that too.

Jess on

Haters gonna hate.

Lina on

Please spell “mozzarella” correctly or at least have all the versions match in your article.

Wrongchoice on

He should have stayed with Shoshanna. She was gorgeous. Jessica’s a cheater and has an ugly face.

Wrongchoice on

If you don’t believe me, g o o g l e Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss. Gorgeous, smokin hot, and has a good career. He was stupid to ditch her.

Jess on

@ wrongchoice maybe he loves Jessica for reasons other than her looks. Just a thought.

pupillyeyes on

work to make the world a better place. if you make a difference, do it. jessica seinfeld didn’t ruin your world.

Guest on

Can’t stand either one of them. She’s also knocking her MIL for not cooking. What a sweet DIL she is. No, she’s a piece of garbage like Jerry.

jj on

Some people are so invested in celebs’ private lives. She cheated, she didn’t, who cares! What matters is the chicken parm recipe.

Wrongchoice on

@ Jess…..could you be Jessica herself. Yes. You should be jealous of Shoshanna. She is stunning, and has children and a viable career, unlike your so-called career…..mostly being Jerry Seinfelds wife.

Laurie on

First…if PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion, why are they not removing all the ugly hate being sent on here?

Second…really sad to see so much hate for no reason. Their life is not your business, poor, sad haters. Hope you feel better about yourselves someday and learn to love instead.

Laurie on

,,,,and, I might add, i suspect that Anonymous, Guest, and Wrongchoice are all the same lone hater. I would hope that michelle and Karolina are also pseudonyms for the same hater. it would be sad if there was more than one person that hated someone they don’t even know for no reason. hope you get help or love or whatever you need to feel better.

Jenn on

Still don’t get why cheater changed her name from Nina.

Anonymous on

CHEATER AND GOLD DIGGGER

cheater on

CHEATER AND GOLD DIGGER

postathread on

Wasn’t Shoshanna like not even legal when he was dating her? He was 30 and she was like 17…weird. Her “famous” chicken parm? lol Pretty basic recipe folks, not that complicated or challenging…

taylormadeincanada on

This sounds super easy. I wonder what the nutritional information is though.

RJ on

“it would be sad if there was more than one person that hated someone they don’t even know for no reason.”

Trust me, there’s more than one person that hates her, lol. Why do care? Why does it bother you so much if people don’t like this woman? It’s so weird when people get all offended if someone criticizes a celebrity. Especially a pseudo-celebrity like Nina Jessica Sklar Nederlander Seinfeld.

RJ on

That should be “Why do *you* care?”

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