Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chicken Parmesan




Chicken Parmesan is a great Italian classic that is always both fulfilling and satisfying at the same time, even for picky eaters in the family. Although it is a very popular and common dish in restaurants in the USA, you often wonder where exactly that tasty parmesan cheese is on a chunky piece of chicken, lost under so much average tasting sauce and mozzarella...
Ever since I started using this recipe (which I kind of put together myself inspired by different recipes), I stopped ordering Chicken Parmesan at restaurants. Why pay for it when you can make it better at home?


Ingredients: (Serves 4)

For the chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thick
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (preferably seasoned Italian breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter (1+1)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (1+1)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup of my Simple Red Sauce, plus extra for serving (and for pasta)
  • 4 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 teaspoons parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F (500 F, if you can).
  • Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Put the flour on a plate or shallow container, set aside. Beat the eggs with the water in a shallow container, set aside. Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese on a plate or shallow container, set aside.
  • Line the plates/containers on the counter to build an assembly line in the following order: 1) Flour, 2) Eggs, 3) Breadcrumbs. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour, shake off excess flour. Then dip them in the egg mixture. And lastly dredge both sides in the breadcrumb/parmesan mixture, make sure to cover well. Put the chicken pieces on a separate plate.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Cook 2 chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the coating gets nice and evenly golden brown. Put them on a clean plate. Repeat the same with the rest of the olive oil, butter and remaining 2 chicken breasts.
  • At this point you can actually serve the chicken breasts as is (without any additional cheese or sauce). I would just recommend serving them with lemon wedges and a freshly-made salad on the side. But if you want to take the chicken to the next level, just go with the following steps:
  • Put the chicken breasts on a large enough baking dish (try not to overlap them). Spoon the Simple Red Sauce over and around the chicken cutlets. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of mozzarella and 2 teaspoons of parmesan over each.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes until the cheeses melt. Serve with your favorite pasta and Simple Red Sauce.

Additional points:

The amount of flour, eggs and breadcrumbs you need depend on the size of the chicken cutlets; so always make sure you have more than the above suggested measurements in hand.

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