- I used to quick fry the chicken in a cheap processed vegetable oil to give it that fried crispy texture
- Then I SMOTHERED it in jarred sauce
- I added processed pre shredded mozz cheese and
- Put it in a baking dish and baked it until it was done (ok I probably over baked it)
Somewhere along the line the chicken lost it’s crispiness, the sauce was awful and the cheese was so melted it was just a runny mess.
Alas, I learned to cook! And would love to share with you how my chicken parm is one of our favorite meals now.
- Your end result is only as good as the ingredients you start with. If there is anything I have learned along the way as a chef is that the ingredients you use are KEY! Take the time to make a good sauce. Make Spaghetti on Sunday and use that sauce for recipes during the week.
- Use fresh, organic, local chicken from your butcher. Try not to freeze it if you don’t have to. Buying it the same day is also a plus if possible.
- Purchase fresh, organic, whole mozzarella or buffalo cheese. Fresh buffalo cheese literally melts in your mouth without even chewing. It’s silkier and lighter than mozzarella cheese is and I highly recommend it.
- Quickly sauté the chicken in a good, quality olive oil – just to brown it – and finish it in the oven. Chicken is a very lean meat that can easily dry out and get overcooked and burnt. Baking it in a very HOT oven keeps the moisture in while retaining the crispness from the pan.
- Make your own breadcrumbs with fresh herbs. Not only is it more economical, but it’s a great way to use up that stale bread you got from the bakery during the week. I chose to use Panko breadcrumbs for chicken cutlets due to their extra crispness, but I have used my homemade breadcrumbs more times than not .
- Again, it sounds redundant, but take the time to freshly grate the Parmesan cheese. If you have a wonderful local Italian market that freshly grates their cheese, then go for it. but PLEASE don’t buy the stuff in the plastic can with the green label. In order for it to last on the shelf they have to add an anti caking agent to it. Use fresh.
If you take these points into consideration, then you will have a lovely, crisp, organic, fresh chicken cutlet that isn’t smothered in sauce or cheese, but has just the right amount so you can actually taste the chicken…
… who should be the star of the plate!Print
- 2–3 skinless organic chicken breasts, butterflied in half
- Flour for dredging
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or homemade)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup freshly grated parm cheese
- Freshly sliced mozzarella (or buffalo) cheese
- Marinara sauce
- good quality olive oil for cooking
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
- Set out three shallow bowls or dishes and put the flour in one, the eggs in another, and the breadcrumbs, parm cheese, garlic powder and oregano in another.
- Trim any excess fat off the chicken and butterfly them in half.
- Sprinkle the cutlets with a good amount of salt and pepper then dredge them in flour, then egg, and lastly the breadcrumbs.
- Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over med/high heat. When the oil is nice and hot gently place the cutlets in the oil and fry just until golden but not cooked through.
- Repeat until all chicken has been browned and place the chicken in a large baking dish
- Place a piece of sliced cheese on top and a dollop of marinara sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.