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Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

Chicken a la Parmiggiana

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Here’s my take on the classic dish.  For me, the key is to make sure that the chicken is super crispy, not overcooked, and I don’t like to bake the chicken for very long.  Use a little sauce, don’t drown it.  Use fresh mozzarella, not the hard block of cheese.  Use fresh basil, not dried flakes, and put it over the chicken LAST.  The resulting dish should be moist, tender, crispy and delicious.

For 4 adults, you will need:

3 whole chicken breasts, halved (6 pieces total), with the skin on and bones and cartilage removed

1 bunch fresh basil, sliced thinly or chiffonade

1 large or 2 small balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like Sciortino’s)

2 cups of good quality tomato sauce or marinara (better if you make your own)

2 large eggs, beaten

A nice chunk of Parmiggiano Reggiano and a cheese grater

Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet.  Place the chicken breast halves in the egg wash, then coat with breadcrumbs.  Place the breasts in the hot oil, skin side down, and let them get nice and brown.  Heat up the marinara, and turn on the broiler in your oven.  Flip the chicken breasts and let the other side get crispy.  Don’t worry if the chicken is fully cooked or not, it will finish cooking in the oven.  When finished, place the chicken on a baking pan and layer the sauce (about 2 tablespoons), and a little mozzarella on top.  Place under the broiler until the mozzarella has browned slightly.  Remove from the oven, place on a large platter and sprinkle with the basil chiffonade and freshly grated parmiggiano.  Comfort food heaven!  Serve with a nice side of buttered noodles and your vegetable of choice.

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