A friend’s childhood favorite birthday mean and a great dish for any gathering of friends, chicken Parmigiana or chicken Parm is savory, gooey and unctuous dish that can be quite economical. My mOm’s recipe with my variations is simply delicious, even my Italian friends agree.
6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 T water
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I like panko)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
4 cups of tomato sauce (your own or a store-bought sauce)
A large casserole pan – 9″ x 13″
Parchment paper or plastic wrap
A meat pounder or mallet or rolling pin
Lay a chicken breast with the side which had skin down on a sheet of parchment paper, and fold the paper loosely over to cover the breast. Pound flat with a mallet until the chicken is about 1/2″ to 1/4″ wide. Peel off the paper and remove the flattened chicken to a plate, in a single layer, and continue flattening each breast.
In a large shallow bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. In another large shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the water then beat in the powdered oregano until well mixed. In yet another large shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and parsley.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a good slosh of olive oil, at least 3 T. While the pan is heating, dip the chicken breast in the flour and pat off the excess, then dip into the egg moisture, then into the bread crumbs and cheese. Pat the bread crumbs and cheese firmly onto the chicken. Then lay gently into the frying pan.
Now, do not touch or move the chicken for 2-3 minutes. Firmly shake the pan and see if the chicken moves from the surface of the pan. If it does, then the cheese has cooked and browned and released from the bottom of the pan.
If you try to move the chicken before the cheese has browned then the coating will stick to the pan and pull off the chicken. Brown all the chicken pieces and reserve to a plate or a piece of foil.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Assemble the chicken Parmigiana: Spoon a cup or two of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add a layer of the Parmesan crusted chicken and more sauce to cover then top with sliced mozzarella and a good handful of grated Parmesan. Bake until the casserole is richly browned on top, about 35-45 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing into squares with a spatula.
(leftovers are excellent, by the way)