Friday, June 8, 2007

Chicken Parmesan – All you baby cows can relax!

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!



Ingredients:
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

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

nicely done! looks great, now I'm hungry! Damn you! :-)

Sheliza said...

I will make this when I have company next week! Looks so good! Gotta get the bread crumbs!

Sheliza said...

I want to see how you make the eggplant version!

Anonymous said...

Yay! No more soggy chicken Parmesan. I always hated that when my sister poured all this sauce over the crispy chicken breast. Now I will be very happy. By the way... maybe i should think up a recipe for an Asian style Chicken Parmesan. jk ;) It's probably taste bad... maybe not. By the way Kudos on saving the chicken! Yummmm.

Anonymous said...

Same viewer, I forgot to add that I am very happy that you got the hang of the equipment.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean his equipment is hanging?

foodette said...

Ah, thanks for the tip on how to keep the breading crisp - that has always been my problem with chicken parm. I will stop drowning the poor little guys in sauce from now on!

Steffen said...

I'm so jealous. Really, the fresh basil I can get here in Denmark are like baby-basil compared to yours.

Awesome recipe though

Chef John said...

grow some yourself inside with hydroponics! All kinds of info online... it's actually not that hard.

2oldblueyes said...

You are a poet.

Chef John,
Dot Com,
Chicken Parmesan.

Beautiful!

Chef John said...

I am a poet?
I didn't even know it.
I don't have the time,
to make words rhyme.

But thanks!

2oldblyeyes said...

A poet, a chef; online,

With no time to make your words rhyme?

Time's not the main ingredient.

Your humor makes it expedient.

DaveinPS said...

So many times I've wondered ... why does the recipe have me drown my crispy cutlets in tomato sauce? Thanks for solving my dilemma, Chef John, most deliciously!

Since I'm basically a tighwad, I have always cringed slightly at throwing out so much flour after dredging chicken, and your demo solved this one, too.

Along that line of thought, the idea of using 4 cups of panko bread crumbs-- most of 2 packages-- (costing nearly $5.00) makes me flinch, especially since I'll be throwing most of it -- and the parmesan -- away.

For my version, I used half as much panko; I got a great coating, and most of it still ended up in the wastebasket. Gonna cut it in half again.

But, hey, who am I to complain? I've been serving soggy chicken parmesan for years!

Chef John said...

well, to be honest, I didnt measure the crumbs, it was one package, so maybe it was closer to 2 cups? Anyway, glad it was a help.

Anonymous said...

looks nice!

bkohler said...

As a recently divorced aging male, cooking for myself became a great way to occupy myself, and your videos a re my number one go-to place for well laid out, easy to follow, excellent meal recipes. This one in particular seems really good. One question, I would also like to make this same recipe, but with baby cows. it would seem to me that everything would carry over, except possibly the cooking times? Doesn't veal (moderately pounded to 1/4 inch thickness) pretty much cook in the frying stage? Would you need to adjust the baking time down any for this recipe? Anything else which might have to be adjusted for veal?

Chef John said...

thanks! Yes, veal will work, but will be cooked enough during the frying stage. So be careful not to cook to long in the oven.

Dan said...

I stumbled across your video instruction, some weeks ago, while searching for a recipe for Chicken Parmesan. We were having guests and I was in the mood for something Italian that wasn’t too difficult to make but was not the typical pasta dish. The video was outstanding and extremely easy to follow, so I decided to try the recipe that afternoon. I have to tell you that the meal was a great success. It was, as far as I and my guests concerned, the best Chicken Parmesan we had eaten. Not long after it was served everyone wanted to have the recipe so, by the end of the week, I was e-mailing the link to your sight to my friends who share a love of cooking. Anyway, I just thought that I would let you know what a help your video instructions are and I intend to try many more of your recipes. Thanks again.

Dan said...

I stumbled across your video instruction, some weeks ago, while searching for a recipe for Chicken Parmesan. We were having guests and I was in the mood for something Italian that wasn’t too difficult to make but was not the typical pasta dish. The video was outstanding and extremely easy to follow, so I decided to try the recipe that afternoon. I have to tell you that the meal was a great success. It was, as far as I and my guests concerned, the best Chicken Parmesan we had eaten. Not long after it was served everyone wanted to have the recipe so, by the end of the week, I was e-mailing the link to your sight to my friends who share a love of cooking. Anyway, I just thought that I would let you know what a help your video instructions are and I intend to try many more of your recipes. Thanks again.

Ty said...

Chicken Parmesan had been one of my favourites since I was a kid. Now I'm fresh out of high school, living in my own apartment (meaning I have my own kitchen now too!).
I like your video because it's nice and simple, yet extremely tasty.
I just cooked it tonight and it didn't turn out the greatest, but it was good nonetheless and fun to make too!
This recipe has gotten me excited to try out all sorts of new dishes now!

Wylie said...

This recipe helped my family come together for dinner for once. We usually eat seperatly in different rooms and when i made chicken parmesan every one came to the table as we ate like a regular family. Thank Chef John

Anonymous said...

I'm sold. Going to make this next week. Just one question, what would serve with Chicken Parmesan? I'm not a big fan of rice, especially the plain stuff. What to do, what to do?

Anonymous said...

No tips in time so I ended up having this with self-made tagliatelle. Worked out nicely, but would have improved with a sauce of some kind. Anyway, excellent chicken. Will be making again. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, i can't find the "Panko" bread crumbs!
Can i use something else? or where can i find it?
thanks, i cant wait to make this!
:]

Comments said...

Chef John,

I made this for the first time tonight and was completely wowed. Even though it's late I just had to write you. This truly is the best version of Chicken Parmesan I've ever tasted!

Thank God I didn't make it the traditional way because I've never been a big fan of heavily breaded chicken, especially when the bread crumbs are dry and tasteless and the sauce is flavorless.

This was a great idea YOU came up with, keep it up!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Chef John said...

Thanks!!

The Enemy of Eggs said...

I have an egg allergy, so, could I opt to use some buttermilk as the binder for the panko breading?

Chef John said...

never tired, but that doesn't hold like the egg does.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the video does not seem to be available. Is there another way to somehow get the directions for making this?

flip@60 said...

Chef John...I'd like to serve this Chick Parm to dinner guests. I thought with a small side of pasta and meat sauce (sauce from Best Lasagna - All Recipes) and fresh green beans. Problem: timing while guests are 'waiting'. Perfect pasta takes close watching; the Chick Parm takes 15 in a hot oven. Green beans can often take 'a bit more' to get perfect. Do I excuse myself from guests for 15-20 minutes while I finish cooking? That's okay, but I'd like to keep that to more like 5 minutes. Is there any way to prepare some of these in advance? Any suggestions? I'm a greenhorn with dinner parties.

Chef John said...

You can keep the chicken parm in a warm (175F) oven for 15 minutes while u get the other stuff ready.

Anonymous said...

Delish! thank you

Anonymous said...

Awesome! 5 stars. Made this for the wife and I tonight. Been using your site a lot more. You are a great teacher. Thanks again, Joe V.

Sarah said...

I'm planning on making this for a family dinner party this coming Friday, I was wondering how to extend the time if I bake 8 chicken breasts instead of 4? This is always tricky for me in recipes, as I usually double them. Thanks so much for the recipe and video!!

KT_1 said...

You did it again chef John! It came out perfect. I usually do not eat thicker pieces of chicken breast but this one came out nice and juicy and the flavors were amazing. PS: I think you are hilarious! My husband always looks at me like I am crazy because you crack me up during all your videos (sasha fierce!) :)

Star said...

I love you chef John!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damon Brown said...

Chef John,
This was by far the best chicken Parmesan I have ever made and eaten for that matter. Many restaurants and home cooks as well cook it the same way as if there is only one true way to cook it...loaded with tomato sauce. My 9 year old daughter exclaimed "This is my favorite chicken ever!!" Now that's a ringing endorsement! I put 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan Romano with 3 cups Panko and it came out great. I used Emeril's Roasted Gaaahhhlllic tomato sauce and that is one good out of the jar tomatoo sauce...if you love garlic and lots of flavor. I could go on and on but this was a great great great and not too hard recipe to put together. Thanks for this and all your wonderful videos! The only issue I have is when I serve these great meals and my wife looks at me with this face of admiration and says " Chef John huh??" GEEEEEZZZZ!! :^):^)

Chef John said...

Thanks!!

Crista said...

My husband is not so eager to try my cooking (and I have to say he is usually justified - I am quite the novice). I make a really good chicken cutlet, by my attempts to turn it into chicken parm by simply adding tomato sauce and mozzarella, then sticking it in the oven - the reception was not favorable. I think his exact words were "this may be the worst chicken park I have ever had." Ouch.

Then I read an article about Chef John. And I felt so reassured with his quote that it's almost impossible to learn how to cook by following recipes. After watching this video, I confidently made the "best chicken parmesan" my husband has ever had!

Now I have a question for you. I have signed up for a meal train and want to bring this dish to a friend who is going through surgery. Do you think I can bread the cutlet and then bring it prepared for baking in the oven, or will frying it early in the day and letting it sit then in the fridge be unsafe food practice (as the chicken on the inside will be raw?) I am thinking that maybe I should prepare the cutlet, but not fry it until right before I'm ready to bring it over to my friend's house.

Let me know what you think.

Chef John said...

No offense, but your husband sounds like he needs some lessons in manners! He's lucky he's got someone like you to cook for him!


Should be safe, but I can't tell you for sure! Depends on too many variables for me to know!