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A More Parm-y Parm - Chicken Parmegiana

I hope my Italian friends will forgive me for messing with a classic - Chicken Parmesan or Parmegiana. (Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Parmigiana are just different names for the same exact recipe. “Parmigiana” is an Italian word that means “in the style of Parma,” referring not to the cheese (which, BTW, is Parmigiano).

My only defense is the actual origin of the dish. While it has roots in Italy (sort of), Chicken Parmesan is all-American.

“Chicken Parm” originated in the Northeast United States from Italian immigrants, and became a popular staple in restaurants serving Italian-American cuisine by the 1950s.

But most places absolutely smother the dish in melted mozzarella and sauce. I actually love the rich, nutty taste of a good Parmegiano cheese, and I wanted the dish to be just about that.


INGREDIENTS

For The Chicken:

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to season

3 large chicken breasts halved horizontally to make 6 fillets

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Italian or golden)

3/4 cup fresh grated Parmegiano cheese

1 teaspoon garlic or onion powder

1/2 cup olive oil for frying


For The Topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3-4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil or parsley


METHOD

Preheat oven 430°F Lightly grease an oven tray (or baking dish) with non stick cooking oil spray; set aside.

Whisk together eggs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

Add chicken into the egg, rotating to evenly coat each fillet in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes (or overnight night if time allows for a deeper flavor).

When chicken is ready for cooking, mix bread crumbs, Parmegiano cheese and garlic powder together in a separate shallow bowl.

Dip chicken into the breadcrumb mixture to evenly coat.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Fry chicken until golden and crispy, (about 4-5 minutes each side).

Place chicken on prepared baking tray / dish and top each breast with about 2 tablespoons cheese. Sprinkle with basil or parsley.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is pretty melted, and the chicken is completely cooked through.


Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Saute onion until transparent (about 3 minutes), then add the garlic until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and then Italian herbs. Cover and just heat through, top the cutlets.

Chicken Parm is typically served with pasta. I just dressed some arugula and butter lettuce with a good olive oil, some lemon and flaked salt.

I’m not much of a chianti fan (maybe I just haven’t had a great one?) but I enjoy rich Cabernet Sauvignons with a heavily sauced pasta/cheesy dish.

This is decidedly lighter, so I went with a Pinot Noir from Burgundy and enjoyed it very much together.



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