I'm looking to make some of this Italian/American dish.
I realize the basics and it's not too difficult (Thin cutlets dredged in egg/milk/breadcrumbs..pan fried in olive oil..baked with tomato sauce and mozz cheese)
but was wondering if anyone had a particular recipe/technique they enjoy.
Thanks in advance.
For me, it is important that the chicken not become overcooked and dry. The pan frying should be just enough to crisp, but not fully cook the chicken. Quality of the cheese is also important. I don't like the cheese to overtake the chicken, but others in my house prefer a little more cheese. I enjoy provolone as a substitute for mozzarella, and I always top with just a bit of parmegiana.
One of my favorite "freezer specials." Make extra so you have some on hand for a hard day.
You can search "Chicken Parmigiana" for more ideas. Must use homemade sauce, the cheese I don't care if it's just for us, I've even used swiss or white cheddar if that's what I have around, but always parmesan/romano on top. It's very adaptable.
rochfood here's how we proceed:
Three dip method on trimmed chicken cutlets; AP flour, egg yolks, panko & dry breadcrumbs (equal 50/50) infused with dried oregano, garlic and freshly sliced basil leaves. Pan fried in olive oil until crisp.
In a 9x13 baking pan we coat the pan with a layer of homemade tomato sauce and nest the chicken cutlets in the sauce, top but don't smother the chicken with a add'l tomato sauce and top each cutlet with a small mound of ricotta cheese (part skim) and shredded whole milk mozz cheese. Top with a bit more freshly chopped basil.
Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Now, I'm completely hungry for chicken parm....must make this weekend :)
I love making Chicken Parmigiana, and love eating it out at a good restaurant that understands how to make it.
As you state, the basic recipe is simple... breaded chicken cutlets, sauce and cheese.
So here are some of my tips:
I make a homemade sauce the day before because it makes assembly the next day much easier.
I have tried using the very thin chicken slices (cutlets) sold at the supermarket, but they are too thin, so I resort to taking breast pieces and pounding them with my meat mallet to medium-thin thickness. I hate thick cutlets.
I used to take the cutlets after they were fried, and spread them on a large cookie sheet, top them with sauce and cheese, and heat them until the cheese was melty. I don't do this anymore because I have a strong aversion to soggy chicken parm. Why go to all that work for sogginess? So, although it is a ROYAL pain, I take a fried cutlet, add a little sauce, top with cheese, put it under a pre-heated piping hot broiler just to melt the cheese, and then serve pronto. I guess this is what is meant (pretty much) by the phrase "a la minute." Leftover cutlets are bagged separately from the sauce, keeping them crisp for the next meal.
For cheese, I like a mix of fresh mozz and provolone, and then a nice generous grating of fresh, imported from Italy, parmigiana reggiano.
Heaven on a plate.
Here is a tip I've seen on the foodnetwork, Tyler's ultimate. After you coat the cutlets with the flour egg, crumb mixture, put it in the fridge for atleast and hour or even overnight. I cannot tell you why this works but it does, I did it one time years ago by accident....I was making a large batch of eggplant parm for work, ran out of time at night so popped the prepped eggplant in the fridge and fried it the next morning. It was crispy on the ouside and delectably creamy inside. I wish I knew why this was...or maybe I'll just be content to let it be :)
For pretty much anything breaded, I like to let it stand after breading for at least half an hour to let the coating "set" a little bit -- I find things fry up much more nicely this way.
If you have to store breaded but uncooked stuff for more than a couple hours, I would recommend putting the cutlets away in single layers with paper towel in between each layer -- and if possible, don't make an airtight seal over the storage container/plate/whatever. Condensed moisture will accumulate and the breading will get soggy. :)
I usually flour/egg/bread the cutlets and put them on a rack for a whilebefore I fry them but I don't refrigerate them. Then, when they are done cooking, I drain briefly on paper towels, and put them back on the rack over a sheet pan in a low oven until I am done coooking all of them. They stay perfectly crisp that way. However, I have cooked cutlets here in Cairo where I am living and since I don't have a racks (they just don't have them here), I have been flour/egg/breadcrumbing the cutlets and frying them immediately, and I have to say that I have not noticed any real difference in the quality or texture. Of course, I can't hold them in the oven without a rack and they really have to be eaten as soon as they are cooked, but that isn't a problem for me since my son is usually standing next to the stove with his mouth open. lol!