When a person has a cookbook addiction, planning meals can be stressful. Like a dog with five balls to fetch, I go from one cookbook to another, saying to myself “this might be pretty good“, or “wow, I’ve got to make this one instead“… But, the thing is that the meals we love to eat, the ones we crave the most, are not from cookbooks. When I ask my husband what he’d like to have for dinner, he often says “you haven’t made chicken parmiggiana in a while“…. The truth is, I sometimes ask the question hoping for exactly that answer, as I also love it and crave it. My Mom used to make some type of parmiggiana all the time, chicken, beef, so I have lots of fond memories. Once I started making it for my own family, they also loved it, closing a wonderful cycle.
This post is written with a special someone in mind, my youngest stepson who is in college and starting to cook for himself and for friends. He’s had my chicken parmiggiana many times, I know he’l love to make it, so I’ll be going through every step showing exactly how I do it, in a Crash-Course: Chicken Parmiggiana 101.
Alex, this one’s for you! 😉
(family recipe; step by step photos after the jump)
3 boneless chicken breasts, preferably organic
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten with 2T water and a pinch of salt
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups tomato sauce (bottled or homemade)
shredded cheese (mozzarella or another melting cheese of your choice)
Butterfly the chicken breasts (see comments for explanation), season both sides with a little salt and pepper. Pound the fillets gently with the flat side of a meat mallet or the handle of a table knife, protecting the meat with plastic (Saran Wrap or similar).
Place three bowls or trays side by side, add flour to the first, season the flour with 1/2 tsp salt and a little black pepper. Add the beaten eggs to the second, and bread crumbs to the third. Coat the chicken fillets with flour, transfer to the egg mixture, coating both sides with it. Allow the excess to drip out, transfer the meat to the bread crumbs tray. Pat the bread crumbs well all over the meat, to make it stick.
Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan until very hot but not smoking. Fry each piece of chicken on the first side until golden, 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Turn to fry the second side for a similar amount of time. Remove from the oil and place over absorbent kitchen paper to blot excess oil. When all pieces are fried, place them in an oven-proof baking dish or cookie sheet, add tomato sauce and shredded cheese on top.
Place in a 350F oven for 15 minutes. If you like, turn the broiler on high for a couple of minutes to get a nice browning. Serve immediately with cooked pasta in tomato sauce, or any other side dish of your preference.
to print the recipe, click here