Chicken Parm, My Way

Yes, I did say that we are back on our diet again and that this past Saturday was our last ‘free meal’. I wanted to share with you one of the dishes that we had as a leftover on our mixed plate that night.

Chicken Parmesan, sounds pretty pedestrian right? But I make mine a little differently. I am not  a fan of breaded foods once they get soggy. The way that most folks do their Parm dishes, with the three stage breading on the protein, be it chicken, veal, pork, what have you. That breadcrumb coating that has been shallow fried to a golden brown crispy deliciousness … I think that should not be destroyed in a sauce.

Chicken Katsu, my quick Cucumber Kim Chee and steamed white rice with Furikake and Soy Sauce

Chicken Katsu, Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and steamed White Rice topped with Furikake and Soy Sauce

That’s why we have Katsu-style chicken at our house. Bread the protein in Panko for a nice, light, crisp exterior. NO SAUCE, just a dipping sauce on the side.

For my Chicken Parm, I take boneless-skinless chicken thighs (of course you can use breasts, but we like dark meat) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Place the meat between plastic wrap or a plastic bag does well too. Take whatever means of flattening tool you wish, a pan, a mallet … me, I use my French rolling pin and pound the meat out to about a half inch thick, evenly. Set them aside on a plate (I use paper plates for chicken-yuckies then just toss them).

On another paper plate, shake out some all purpose flour or Wondra, not much, maybe a couple of tablespoons full for each cutlet; dredge each piece of chicken lightly and set aside on that paper plate.

In a good sized fry pan, (one that will be big enough to fit all of the culets you’re making) heat up some oil, vegetable, canola, safflower, whatever neutral oil you have on hand, over a medium to medium-high flame. You’ll know when the oil is hot enough, when you stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and little bubbles come up.

Slide your meat into the oil carefully, and cook until GBD (golden brown and delicious) and the meat registers 165⁰ on an instant-read therometer; set aside one a plate lined with paper towels to drain. In the mean time, pour off your oil (I save my coffee cans for this, never put oil down the drain) and wipe the pan out with more paper towels.

Love this stuff for a quick pasta dish

Love this stuff for a quick pasta dish

Heat whatever marinara you like in the pan.

Put the chicken back into the pan and cover each piece slightly with some sauce. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese over each piece, being careful that it’s ONLY on the meat. Cover the pan and allow the cheese to melt. Now, if you want the cheese to brown, instead of covering the pan put it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Chicken Parm My Way served with Rigatoni

Chicken Parm My Way served with Rigatoni topped with more cheese and torn Italian Parsley

Serve warm with your favorite sides; pasta, bread, salad, or all of the above.

Mangiamo!

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