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Chicken Parmesan

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.

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  1. 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.

    3 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      sm, at what heat do you fry the cutlets? It seems like you could get away with a higher heat if you're not trying to get them cooked through in the pan.

      I reeeeeally want this for dinner now. *drools*

      1. re: LauraGrace

        I use a lot of BTU's to flash fry the chicken without overcooking. For me, it is important to have a really hot pan, add olive oil and then add the chicken before the olive oil burns. Takes a short time. Enjoy your dinner. I love all things parmesiana.

        1. re: smtucker

          One more question, sorry! What kind of pan do you use? I have a circulon skillet (HATE it but can't afford to replace it right now) and various sizes of cast iron. Cast iron seems the natural choice but I've never done it. TIA!! :)

    2. 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.

      1. 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 :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          This is virtually the same recipe I use, except that we don't put ricotta on the chicken. We only use whole milk mozzarella. It melts better.

          1. re: RGC1982

            I love the ricotta cheese texture in the dish so our family recipe includes it. So many great ways to prepare this dish tho. I love a pesto parm chicken just as much.

        2. 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.

          1. I always dredge the chicken in flour before the egg, which I beat with a little water to thin it out. I mix my breadcrumbs with finely chopped garlic, finely chopped parsley, grated romano and S&P.

            5 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              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 :)

              1. re: momoftwo

                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. :)

                1. re: momoftwo

                  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!

                  1. re: momoftwo

                    What does putting them in the fridge 'do' for them? Does it make them crispier?

                    1. re: millygirl

                      It's believed refrigerating breaded items for 30 minutes helps the coating adhere to the meats/fishes better,

                2. This is one of my husband's specialties. He always uses the Cooks' Illustrated recipe (the one published in the Italian Favorites cookbook of theirs). That recipe is always a hit, has good detailled instruction as CI always does, and is a definite "classic" version with no groumet twists. I'd say it is definitely at least a good place to start, if not to stop also!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cookie44

                    cookie, I also use the Cook's Illustrated recipe as my base with a couple small variations. I find that the sauce that they recommend with it is a quick and delicious marinara sauce. Also, I find that broiling the chicken instead of baking keeps the chicken much crispier. I also use panko crumbs which also makes the cutlets crispier. All and all, it's a great recipe.

                  2. As TrishUntrapped notes in her suggestions.....pounding the chicken cutlets is a must if you want the chicken to be guaranteed tender. Although the thread I am providing is for Veal Pamigiano .....the process is the same and their are some very helpful hints and thoughts. Naturally I'm partial to my methods, but ThreeGigs process is definitely worth considering.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/514554

                    1. My family loves this one: boneless chicken breast cut into two cutlets and pounded out, dredge in seasoned flour, dip into beaten eggs, dredge in 70/30 mix panko and grated parm (the real stuff), fry in butter and xvoo, place in baking pan, cover with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper mix and top that with fresh mozz.... bake at 400 until cheese is bubbly

                      1. Use the "Short Stop Parmesan Chicken" recipe on the Gold'n Plump website. Here's the link to the recipe database: http://www.goldnplump.com/recipe_sear...

                        1. My only real "trick" is that after pan frying- I then lay the half the chicken in a casserole dish with just a little homeade sauce on the botton, then top with more sauce and shredded mozzarella. Then I add a second layer of chicken, more sauce and then sliced fresh mozzarella and some parmesan.

                          The end result is a gooey casserole that is perfect delicious. I usually take off the tinfoil off the top at the end so that the cheese browns just a little. Mmm now Im hungry again

                          1. I particularly like to butterfly the chicken, stuff it with goat's cheese, and then encrust it in panko bread crumbs mixed with sweet paprika. Try it. VERY easy and it can be baked or fried. I recommend it being baked since it is healthier.

                            1. Thanks all for the myriad replies. I will study your tips/techniques more and decide which ones to utilize. Just waiting for chicken breasts/cutlets to go on sale. Your input is much appreciated.

                              1. Our traditional Christmas day dinner is a chicken parmesan that my sister makes. A little different from the other recipes here. The chicken is dipped in a mixture that includes a little dijon, then in the parmesan bread crumb mixture, then rolled up, and baked.

                                It is fantastic. A highlight I always look forward to. And the leftovers make fantastic sandwiches, with the rollups cut into slices.

                                1. Ok..the final result was tasty. Chicken breasts 1.79/lb. Took 3 thick breasts and cut them in half to make 6 cutlets. Dredged them in 3 pans.. flour..then an egg/milk mixture..then finally a crumb mixture of panko/ unseasoned breadcrumbs/ italian seasoning.
                                  Heated up a nonstick pan with olive oil (med heat), and pan fried the cutlets in 2 batches..2 min per side, till golden brown.
                                  My sauce was heating up (canned Del Monte traditional) I don't mind prepared sauce (I'm not italian..so I'm not insulting anyone I know, plus I think it tastes good most of the time.)
                                  Drain the cutlets on paper towels, them put in glass pan on a small bed of sauce (I will omit this next time..the bottom of the chicken cutlets became too soggy).
                                  Top the cutlets with sauce..then a mix of mozz/provolone and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Throw into a 350 oven for 25 min..viola..looked cheesy and bubbly. Served on a bed of spaghetti, was very tasty: my wife and 3 year old boy liked it very much. He called the chicken parm.."chicken meatballs" I guess because he is used to meatballs with spaghetti.
                                  And, there were enough parm cutlets for delicious chicken parm sandwiches on corn dusted sandwich rolls the nezt day. My boy loved it again.
                                  Thanks all.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: rochfood

                                    Good for you rochfood! Thank you for sharing the results.

                                    1. re: rochfood

                                      For next time you might try what my husband does. Put the breaded, fried cutlets on an over-proof rack, top cutlets and put them in the oven that way. You will avoid the a soggy bottoms.

                                      I'm not sure it is traditional but he also only tops the cutlets with cheese (not sauce) and serves the sauce on the side. Keeps the chicken nice and crispy, not sogginess anywhere.

                                      1. re: rochfood

                                        I also like it when folks come back and give their results! So glad you cut the breasts horizontally and didn't pound them...I've found pounding them is the biggest total waste of time and energy: uh-oh there's a hole in one of the breasts and I'm exhausted from pounding and the cats are all freaked out from the pounding...lol! cutting them horizontally is the way to go, in my opinion.

                                      2. I make this dish with thighs; sometimes I leave the bone in (so they're not cutlets therefore it's not "authentic") but sometimes I pound boneless thighs.

                                        When using thigh meat I like to rub the meat liberally with a basil/lavender/pepper amalgam then proceed with the recipe. If I have them around, I'll rinse some capers and add 'em to the sauce.

                                        When using breasts I'm usually overwhelmed by an urge to stuff the breasts with either cheese, prosciutto or both.