As I said yesterday, this was the winner of our first reader poll used to pick a demo. This demo is dedicated to my niece Brittany. This is her favorite meal, or at least I think it is. Over the years I’ve probably gone out to eat with Brittany maybe 75 times and she has ordered this 73 of those times…the other two occasions we were at Chinese restaurants and I think she still tried to order it. Hopefully, she will try to make this at home after watching this clip. Anyway, I’m sure Brittany is not alone in her love of the Chicken Parm, as it’s probably the most popular non-pasta dish in Italian-American style restaurants. Back in my day, it was of course Veal Parmesan, but eating baby cows fell out of fashion, and the Chicken is now the protein of choice. What’s that? You don’t eat chicken either? Well, then you’ll just have to stay tuned for my amazing Eggplant Parmesan coming soon.
The main problem I have with the version served in most restaurants is that they drown the chicken in so much sauce and cheese, that it ends up being a big soggy chicken/cheese clump. I don’t put any sauce under the chicken cutlets, just a little bit on top, so the breading stays relatively crisp. If you like a lot of sauce, fine, serve it along side when the dish is served. I also actually use some Parmesan cheese! Most versions of this only use mozzarella; I’m going with a delicious mixture of fresh Mozzarella, tangy Provolone and “real” Parmesan. The other little trick you see in the video recipe is how I add some of the grated Parmesan to the breadcrumbs, which adds another layer of flavor. Be sure your oven is well preheated to 450F, we want the cheese to slightly brown and the breading to crisp up before the chicken gets over-cooked, and a nice hot oven is the way to go. The rest of the demo is pretty straight forward, so let’s get to it. Enjoy!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cups “Panko” Japanese style bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup grated provolone
4 oz fresh mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
olive oil for frying
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce (high-quality!)
1/4 cup fresh shredded basil, or pesto, or dried Italian herbs of your choice, or omit
*Baked for approximately 15-20 minutes at 450F