Have some time for weekend cooking? Spoil yourself or anyone else with this Chicken Parmesan. A dish originating from the Italian diaspora to America, it grew in immense popularity over time. I can certainly see why. Not only do you have crispy fried chicken, but also gooey melted cheese on top! It definitely isn’t diet food, but I reckon it’s good for your soul. Here’s how you make it:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 beaten egg
¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
Olive oil for frying
Cheese Topping –
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup sharp white cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper powder (optional)
½ tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
*Have some marinara sauce handy as well
You need to pound the chicken breasts to reduce their thickness. This can be achieved by placing a breast in between two sheets of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet to flatten them. While that is the ideal way to flatten the breast, I placed the breasts on a cutting board and pounded them with a rolling pin. The key is to not be too aggressive while pounding. As long as you can ensure uniform thickness, the breasts can also cook evenly.
Place the breasts on a plate. Salt and pepper both sides of the breast.
Sprinkle the flour and evenly spread it on both sides of the breasts. Get rid of the excess flour.
Pour the beaten egg on the breasts. Use a brush or any other tool to coat the breasts with the eggs.
Prepare another plate by pouring out an even layer of breadcrumbs. Use tongs to dip the chicken breasts in the breadcrumbs on both sides. Ensure no parts of the chicken are uncovered. Now that you have the breaded chicken complete, you can store the breasts in the fridge for later use or fry immediately.
In a separate bowl, make the cheese mixture. Pour in the ricotta cheese and grate the specified amount of cheddar cheese. Add some salt bearing in mind that the cheddar is already salty. Add a sprinkling of pepper and cayenne powder to taste as well. Lastly, add that small bit of olive oil. Mix all of these ingredients until well incorporated. Place the mixture in the fridge until you’re ready to spread it on top of the chicken.
In a wide and flat frying pan, heat up enough olive oil for shallow frying. I used medium heat to fry the chicken. Ensure the oil is hot enough before you add the chicken. You can do this by dropping some breadcrumbs in the oil. If you see them bubble right away, your oil is hot enough. Carefully place your chicken in the oil. The breaded breast must be golden brown on both sides.
Preheat your oven to 500F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once you’ve fried your chicken breasts, place them on the baking sheet. Spread the cheese mixture on the chicken. Be as generous with the cheese as you’d like but try leave the edges unfilled. In other words, fill the center of the breast with cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the chicken breasts as well. Bake the chicken for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese slightly browns.
On a plate, pour some marinara sauce and place a chicken breast on top of it. I highly recommend serving the chicken parmesan with some spaghetti on the side. You can also garnish the dish with parsley if you’d like and voila! You have hearty, home-style chicken parm!