- Posted March 6, 2008 by
Chester County, Pennsylvania
Thursday Lunch Report: Chicken Parmagiana!
Sometimes I don't need to cook anything for lunch because we have leftovers in the fridge. Today is one of those days.
I made this last night for dinner. While it's correct to describe it as Chicken Parmagiana, I've made some special modifications to it that enables it to level up to awesome.
Today's lunch (and yesterday's dinner) is Chicken Parmagiana with Panko and Fresh Basil.
Stuff You Need
Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts)
Panko bread crumbs (substitute regular if necessary, but only if absolutely necessary)
Salt and Pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
Tomato sauce (homemade or jarred), warmed up
Butter and olive oil
Pound the chicken breasts until they are uniformly thick (you can skip this part, but it helps to let them cook evenly). Salt and pepper both sides.
Coat the chicken evenly, both sides, with flour. You can either dredge them in a plate of flour, or sprinkle the flour onto them and use your hand to coat them.
Place the panko bread crumbs into a large plastic zipper bag, set aside.
Place the beaten eggs into a shallow bowl, and dip the floured chicken pieces into them. It helps to leave the breasts in the egg for a minute or two, to allow the eggs to adhere.
Using tongs, take each chicken breast out of the egg and drop it into the plastic bag-o-panko. Seal the bag and toss it about so that the bread crumbs stick evenly to all sides of the chicken. Do this one piece at a time (you may run out of panko and need to add more).
At this point, if you have the time, it's worth it to place the crumbed chicken onto a plate (flat, and in a single layer) and refrigerate it for a few minutes. Again, this is to help the crumbs adhere. If you're in a rush, you can skip right to the cooking.
Turn on your oven, to 170 degrees or as close to it on the low side as you can.
Take a wide pan (ovenproof) and set it over high heat for 3 minutes. Place olive oil and butter into the pan (a little more than a coating, make it have some depth) and wait for the butter to melt and stop sizzling.
Add the chicken pieces in one layer in the pan and don't move them. Wait 6 minutes (longer for thicker pieces, shorter if thinner) and then flip and cook the other side for another 6 minutes. If your pan is kind of dry, add a little more olive oil and push your chicken around with a spatula to hit it. Admire the wonderful brownness of the fried side. Slice your mozzarella cheese while the second side cooks, and get ready to lay it on.
When the second side is almost done, use a spoon to layer a strip of tomato sauce across each piece of chicken, and place some mozzarella cheese on top of that. When your second six minutes is up, turn off the heat and stick the pan into the oven.
Bake the stuff for about ten to fifteen minutes. This ensures two things. First, it melts your cheese, which is the most important thing. Second, the 170 degree oven makes sure that your chicken is not underdone, but also not overcooked. Salmonella dies at 160 degrees, but anything much higher than that will dry out your bird. 170 is decent.
Serve the chicken parm over pasta, sprinkled with shredded basil leaves and pecorino or parmesan.
Eat, refrigerate leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.