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Dinner Date (chicken parm)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I need a simple, delicious, tasty chicken Parmesan recipe. Second date. thanks for the help :)
post #2 of 4
Try using chicken thighs instead of breast meat - depends if you are a leg or breast person :) - the thighs have much more taste.

Preheat your oven till moderately hot.

Beat chicken fillets till even thickness. Dredge in seaoned (S&P) flour, shake off excess, dip into lightly beaten egg, coat with dried breadcrumbs which you have tossed with a little dried oregano and some grated parmesan cheese. I like to add some smoked paprika to my crumbs. Put on a plate and chill for 30 minutes if you can - helps the crumb to set.

Lightly pan fry till golden in a mix of half veg oil (nothing with a very strong flavour)/ half butter, drain on kitchen towel, keep warm.

Top each piece with couple of thin slices mozzarella, drizzle over some tomato passata, bake for say 15 minutes till oozy and sumptuos.

Serve with nice tossed green salad and some garlic bread (or skip the garlic and serve fried croutes if you want to ummmm....avoid garlic breath! Or make sure you both eat the bread - then it won't matter).

Hope this helps.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #3 of 4
Here's the way I do it when I want it finished quickly and simply and end up with something tasty.

Ingredients for two servings

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 egg
Italian seasoned bread crumbs ( about a cup or so, easily purchased in the baking section of the megamart )
1 Tb unsalted butter
1 Tb olive oil
red wine ( optional )
1 jar prepared spagetti sauce of your preferred flavor
1/2 pound block of mozzarella cheese
grated parm to taste.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, start heating about a cup or so of the sketti sauce over medium - low heat.

Take the chicken breast, lay it on a cutting board and slice in half, parallel to the cutting board. The intention here is to make two cutlets of relatively even thickness. Trying to cook a whole chicken breast as is can result in the outside getting tough and dry before the inside is fully cooked. You could also pound it thin for a while, but just slicing it is quicker and simpler, giving a similar result.

Break an egg into a pan or bowl or some such container, whisk it until the white and yolk are well blended. Dip the chicken breast slices into the egg, then coat with the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat until butter is bubbly and foaming. Brown the chicken cutlets, about 3 - 4 minutes
per side. While the chicken is browning, stir a good splash of the wine into the heating sauce. Spoon about two tablespoons of the sauce into the bottom of a glass baking dish, spread it around a bit.

When the chicken is browned, lay over the sauce in the baking dish. Slice the mozzarella into maybe 1/4 inch thick pieces. Arrange over the chicken. A little hanging over the edge here and there is just fine. Spoon more of the sauce over the chicken and cheese. Sprinkle the grated parm over the sauce. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until it looks like the parm is starting to brown and the mozzarella is melting.

Pull out of oven, cool a few minutes and eat!

Now, for some rambling comments on the way I may or may not actually make it. In truth, I rarely purchase boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I usually get a whole chicken or skin-on breasts with rib meat and bones. But if you don't make chicken stock, get whatever is convenient for you. I suppose one could purchase frozen, breaded chicken cutlets for this dish, but I would disavow any knowledge of such action on your part. One thing you may want to try is to dip the chicken pieces into melted butter instead of egg for the breading. A slighty richer taste, which may be a good thing if you are trying to impress a date. And to simplify the recipe, you could skip the browning in the skillet step and just put the raw chicken into the baking dish and cook at 400 degrees for maybe 25 - 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces.

For the sauce, obviously a good, rich homemade sauce would be the best way to go. What I usually do, though, is go with store bought stuff in a jar. Too lazy or pressed for time to whip up a batch from scratch very often. I do doctor up the jarred stuff with additional veggies like red bell peppers, mushrooms, chopped black olives, more onions and garlic or shallots, whatever is on hand. If it is just me eating it, not my wife, a good bit of red pepper flakes happen to fall into the sauce. Also I usually add some sort of fresh italian sausage browned and crumbled. We have several good sources of sausage here in Salt Lake City, *way* better than that mass market stuff from Johnsonville or whatever. Actually one outfit, Colosimos, sells a garlicky red wine sausage that works well in this dish. And a good dose of red wine wil help, if you consume wine. Especially good is a dose of whatever red you might be drinking that night with the dinner.

As for the cheese, what I make should be more correctly called chicken mozarella. My wife is not as much a fan of stronger cheeses as I am, she prefers blander varieties. Feel free to try other types of cheese, like romano, asiago, maybe fontina, whatever you like and looks good at the market that day.

For side dishes, you are on your own here, though I imagine folks will be happy to offer suggestions other than the basic salad and crusty bread.

Gee, I think typing this up took me more time than actually making the dish! And there are no doubt a zillion different recipes for chicken parm, this is just an outline of the way I like to do it.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #4 of 4
chicken parm is one of those "comfort" foods to me....Fiance makes it and she makes it **** good, but simple..nothing special....

one key is pounding out the chicken. key to chicken parm....to me.
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