Friday, April 1, 2016

New & Improved Chicken Parmesan – This is No April Fools Joke!

On those rare occasions I find myself dining in one of America’s casual restaurant chains, chicken parm is one of my go-to meals. I love chicken parm, especially when it’s made with fresh mozzarella, which it almost never is. 

It usually features the same bland, rubbery stuff you find on cheap pizza, and even though I know this going in, I’ll order it anyway.That’s how much I love chicken parm. Of course, at home we can use the real stuff, which is much more flavorful, and significantly less rubbery, but it can be pricey, and not everyone has access, so I decided to try something new. Instead of mozzarella, I made a cheese spread using ricotta, fortified with sharp cheddar.

The creamy ricotta made a great base into which you could add any melting cheese. I really enjoyed the cheddar, but I’d like to try this with other options, such as provolone, fontina, or even gruyere. And of course, if you prefer the tender meat of baby cows, this technique will work just the same with veal.

So, if you love chicken parm as much as I do, but aren’t crazy about the typical bland-but-bouncy mozzeralla topping, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Also, this is my last video, as I’m retiring at the end of the day. Thanks for everything, and as always, enjoy!


For 2 portions New & Improved Chicken Parmesan:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
olive oil for frying

For the cheese spread:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano for the top

- Serve with hot marinara sauce, and chopped Italian parsley.

34 comments:

Bryan Soto said...

Ummmmmm. I'm not usually one for stating the obvious, but I'm going to assume the retirement announcement was an April Fools joke. In the case that it's not, please don't leave us Chef John. Life is just not as full, pun intended, without you!

gateman said...

Ulysses Krunk is really Donald Trump, who's last name is really Krunk.

will dukeshire said...

Please Dear God tell me you're joking!

Laurie Cammarata said...

Ok, Happy April Fool's Day! I certainly hope that you aren't serious. You can't leave us all floundering around out here?!

David McCutcheon said...

Is he testing to see if we read all of his blog posts?

Corn Floats said...

Say it ain't so, Chef John! I've only just this week worked up the fortitude to make a Food Wish...and I have so many more. If it's truly an April Fool's Day joke, good on you, but I literally DID retire on April 1st two years ago and your site keeps me off the streets and out of trouble!

Joe Eoj said...

Good! We're glad you're retiring, and it's the 2nd of April so you know I'm not joking.

Roberto said...

Chicken-Ched............. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Or is it Chicken-Ric?

Patrick said...

Oh, sweet! I've had a hankering for chicken parm for a while, and this is the kick in the pants I needed.

I love the freakishly small spatula!

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

This looks delish! I'm a betting that even I can make this. Thanks! You're da' best!

mom of chef said...

You have saved my marriage as I hide from cranky husband and watch your videos - your voice soothes me. I live nearby and will wash your dishes for vino!

Jason Smith said...

Perfect..... Just perfect, Chef. Ohhh... as for retirement? Don't make us go "Medieval" on your @$$! ;P

Julianne said...

That can't be right! Love your videos and your recipes. I truly hope it's April Fools!

Marginator said...

Made this for my sister's birthday dinner tonight- was a huge hit and I only set the kitchen on fire a little bit! Thanks, Chef John :)

john regenthal said...

As in 'retiring' for the evening ? ; to bed, that is ? Anything else & I'm lost without the 'guru' of simple, easy-to-follow instructions, good-tasting, heart-warming, & a variety of food preps ! ! Alright-already, go to bed and retire for the evening.

Seth Chomout said...

Could I use pork for this?

Paul Houston said...

I do not order chicken parm at any of the Italian restaurants here in Des Moines, for the exact reason you pointed out, rubbery tasteless, cheese. Prepared this last night with the fresh marinara to rave reviews. And remember: When you retire, you switch bosses – from the one who hired you to the one who married you.

nvr2lt2 said...

Let's see....Chef John is an educator, an exquisite
chef, and a blogger who loves helping people....so,
the last video thing will be filed in the great
"April Fools" jokes compartment in my mind. If it's true,
then congratulations to you and a heart-felt Thank You
for caring enough about all of us to devote so much time and
energy into doing all of this. And, "Enjoy!"

Kennapop3 said...

Hope to hear more from you, I'm retired officially, but find my self still teaching part time anyway. So if it's true take some time with the love of your life and give us a few tips from time to time. You are the best.

Christopher Myers said...

Made this tonight and it was my very first chicken parm. It was absolutely delicious, the funny thing is, I just used fresh soft mozzarella, which was way cheaper than buying both ricotta and cheddar.

Jason Smith said...

This -- hands down -- was the absolute BEST chicken parmesan I ever had. My only tweak: PANKO! Ooooh, Panko, how I adore thee....

This was inspirational!

Michele Cryan said...

Now if anyone is really curious what happens if you over pound a chicken breast....

http://foodwishes.blogspot.ca/2011/04/prick-your-tongue-with-chicken-piccata.html

ezoblogger said...



This recipe isn't the best way to lose weight fast, but my god, looks like is delicious, is kitchen's masterwork.

John Burgeson said...

Hey, c'mon Chef John, say it ain't so about your retirement! You will be posting more videos, right?

Unknown said...

WOW! Really am grateful for your beautiful expertise, your candor and your levity. Thank you so very much. I am a much better chef since studying with you. Blessings to you and yours. Cheers!

mom of chef said...

SFQ BBQ Sauce excellent! I never liked barbecue sauce before but yours (prominently displayed at Rainbow!) was very very very good! Can't wait to make the Chicken Parmesan once husband is off a restrictive diet. Had Chicken Parm once in a restaurant and thought 'What is the big deal?'I'm sure your recipe is much much better and wonderful. P.S. Don't retire please

Chef John said...

Thanks!

Jennifer Clark said...

OMG I love you Chef John!!!! I just made this for my family and it has rave reviews!!! It was an instant hit. Btw, I've made a ton of your recipes and you never, ever fail to disappoint my tastebuds. You are very talented, keep doing what you do!!!!!

Laura said...

My heart skipped a beat, as I'm reading this on April 6th. Then I checked the date it was written. Love you, Chef John!

Danielle Alsenz said...

So... wondering about an estimate of calories in a serving of this.. Seems like 700 calories is too high!

Chef John said...

Life is too short to count the calories in a chicken parm! I find it hard to believe that eating this once in a while would lead to anything other than happiness.

Kyle Barrett said...

I used Dubliner real parm and asiago in equal parts for the cheese and it was fantastic!

P Lusardi said...

ya lost me at Cheddar. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's good. I simply cant risk having my Italian grandmother spin from her grave to bean me with her rolling pin.

danae said...

Can the cheese mixture be frozen?