Chicken Parmigiana, an Italian American Classic. Talk about luxurious and flavorful! Beautifully breaded chicken cutlets baked in a rich tomato basil sauce topped with copious amounts of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh mozzarella! However, when you see everyone take the first bite and there is that eye roll and silent mmmmmmm, you know you have made a real crowd pleaser!
Song of the day: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.
Chicken Parmigiana, an Italian American Classic. This is probably one of the most favored dishes in North America for those of us Italians who live here. It is seen on Italian restaurant menus everywhere and there is that rich color of the sauce hosted by the crispy golden battered fried chicken, not to mention the beautifully melted mozzarella and Parmigiano, hence mouthwatering moment! lol!
Easter meal idea................
What I have heard from most people is that it does not feel like Easter. Yes, the world is feeling the isolation, there is social distancing, and lots of us are away from our families not being able to get together for that special family meal to celebrate Easter!
I myself am away from Nicoletta. There is me and the cats, Wonton and Bailey. Nicoletta is in Rome with her family and our other cat Olympia. For me, I would not want Nicoletta to cancel out the spirit of this festive weekend. In Italy, it is so filled with tradition, spirituality, and most of all, great delicious food and festive meals!
Hence, I am going to make the best of it. Let's not let this thing beat us down and kill the true heart that we are as a people. It is true we are at a social distance, however, we are all in the same boat, so why not celebrate the things that we are grateful for and for sure whip up a platter of the amazing and delicious Chicken Parmigiana!
Maybe we need a world conference call at mealtime so we can unite for a virtual meal together, lol.
Time to get this plate going.....................
Some pretty simple ingredients for this Chicken Parmigiana, an Italian American Classic, and it goes something like this:
- boneless chicken breast (I buy organic free-range, well, because happy chickens are better tasting!)
- Italian style breadcrumbs
- Panko crumbs
- eggs (organic free-range again)
- half & half cream
- good quality San Marzano stewed tomatoes
- e.v.o. oil
- fresh basil
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- fresh mozzarella
- salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika
Don't be shy, come into the kitchen with me........
Wash your hands, I bet you haven't heard that enough these days. But however, a good thing to do anyway! So let's get started and this is what we have to do first:
- Firstly we need to get our sauce going, so into the pot goes oil and pressed peeled garlic. The reason that I do this is I want all that garlic flavor to get into the oil before starting the heat. The end result, a very wonderful flavor base for the tomatoes that are going to go in next, along with that ever so pleasing aromatic fresh basil.
- Secondly, we need to fillet the chicken breast. I picked up these lovely plump larger ones and made three cutlets out of one breast. Once you have them filleted, I cover them in plastic wrap and pound them with a meat cleaver to flatten and tenderize them. On goes some seasoning on both sides and I mix the bread crumbs and panko, plus beat the eggs with some seasoning and half and half cream.
- Thirdly, now the fun begins and we need to coat these fillets. Into the egg wash they go, then into the bread crumbs, back into the egg, and finally a last coating of the crumbs and that is it. They are ready to fry up. You may be asking why double dip and coat. Well, because that will give us a wonderful crispy thick coating that will pair nicely and not breakdown with the sauce.
- Lastly, into a shallow oil fry pan to get all nice and golden brown. It doesn't matter that they may not be fully cooked, they are going into the oven for a bit to mingle with the tomato sauce and cheeses.
Almost time for the oven..................
- So our cutlets are beautiful and golden brown sat on some paper towel to take off any excess oil and into a baking dish they go! I don't put any sauce on the bottom of the dish as I want to preserve some of that crispiness for texture diversity!
- On goes your tomato sauce that has been simmering low and slow on the stovetop. Get that cheese grater and sprinkle a generous amount of Parmigiano as that will give us a nice melted bite to the mix.
- Lastly, some of that creamy milky fresh mozzarella cut into rounds and placed on top. Okay, the oven is preheated to 400 degrees F and in you go uncovered.
Nothing but heavenly Italian aromas here...............
I was upstairs cleaning up the studio and came down the stairs to the most incredible rich Italian aromas. Tomato sauce, fried chicken cutlets and looking into the oven that cheese is melted and out of the oven my lovelies you come. Take a look. Are you hungry yet?
Let's plate these babies up!
I want to dive right in..................
This looks amazing. We can't have a dish like this without some good homemade Italian wine! I have to cut a piece and taste it, I am wiping my mouth right now because it is watering so much!
I love that the crispness is not gone, it tastes buttery and I love that sound in my mouth as I bite in. The richness of the sauce so lovingly caresses this cutlet into an embrace worth a thousand words but I can't tell you what those words would be as my mouth is full. The Parmigiano is dancing on my tongue and that mozzarella is so creamy, gooey good.
I have to say the chicken is so moist and tender and that coating has ensured that for sure. It is so juicy in my mouth that I have a need for that napkin again. That is three times now, may have to put a warning...... causes extreme mouth wateriness! lol.
It is a tough time and sometimes feels like we have to climb a large mountain to even think about celebrating, however, balance is key. There is a time to mourn and there is a time for celebration and end result is some kind of balance that will differ among us all. We are strong and united we are one. Let's be grateful and send our love to the ones that have lost so many during this time. May they be at peace.
This Chicken Parmigiana, an Italian American Classic may not be the be all to end all, but it sure feels good going in and down.
Happy Easter everyone! Buona Pasqua!
A big virtual hug and lots of love to all of you! (social distancing and all, lol.)