Chicken parmesan is one of those recipes that tastes great even when not perfected. So imagine its deliciousness when at its finest: tender, juicy, flavorful, and with lots of cheese.
So, what does it take to make the best out of your cheesy chicken? High-quality meat, a few secret ingredients, and the right cooking technique. Let’s go through them one by one.
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Making a Perfect Chicken Parmesan Recipe
The chicken must be juicy and perfectly golden-brown when the dish is done. To achieve this, the chicken breasts need to be as thin as possible. Thinner chicken cutlets ensure the meat cooks evenly and at the same time. If you have thicker pieces of meat, start by cutting them widthwise.
Next step – pounding. Pounding is key when it comes to chicken parmesan recipes. Gently pound the meat to a thickness of 0.5’’. Be careful, too much pounding will tear the meat and make it dry after cooking.
Place the chicken breast on a cutting board or counter covered with a piece of waxed paper. Cover the meat with another piece of waxed paper and start tapping the from the center towards the edges, using a meat mallet or, alternatively, the bottom of a small saucepan.
The Buttermilk Brine
The secret of a super-tender, moist, and flavorful meat is the brine. And the ingredient necessary to achieve this is buttermilk. For extra flavor, add some garlic as well. Leave the chicken in the brine for at least an hour. For best results, it is best to let it sit for 4 hours.
The question here is – what is the best cheese to use? The cheese must be meltable but not too milky in taste. Grated Parmesan is, of course, the cheese of choice. However, adding some mozzarella cubes will give even better results. If you decide to go with mozzarella, avoid the variety packed in water (you don’t need additional moisture in the chicken parmesan recipe) and opt for the fresh variety.
Buttermilk can also be added either to the dry mixture based on breadcrumbs or to the egg mixture. This will contribute extra crispiness to the meat after cooking.
Any tomato/marinara sauce works with chicken parmesan recipes, be it store-bought or homemade, plain or spiced.
The Perfect Cooking Technique for Chicken Parmesan
Chicken parmesan recipes are best cooked in two stages – frying and baking. Here is the process step by step.
To get crispy chicken, you need lots of oil. Use enough oil to make the chicken breasts float in the pan.
Next, you need two bowls. The first one will hold the flour, mixed with a teaspoon of salt and ½ a teaspoon of pepper. The other dish will contain water, eggs, and another teaspoon of salt, lightly beaten to combine.
Finally, you need a large shallow dish to hold the breadcrumbs. You can add the cheese and buttermilk at this point or wait until after the chicken is fried.
Prepare a large plate lined with paper towels next to the stove to place the fried chicken breasts.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 370°F. Use a deep-fry thermometer to be certain you have the right temperature.
Start the process by dipping the chicken breast into the flour mixture, turning to coat on both sides. Then, transfer to the second bowl with the egg mixture, again coating evenly. Finally, coat well with breadcrumbs, gently patting to ensure complete and even coating.
When the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully drop two of the chicken breasts into it to avoid oil splashes. Fry for about 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Turn and cook for 5-6 minutes more. Transfer the fried meat to the plate lined with paper towels.
Heat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle. Place the chicken in a large casserole dish, cover with the marinara sauce, and top with the Parmesan and mozzarella mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheeses are melted and the Parmesan is slightly browned. Serve immediately.
Note: Chicken parmesan leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipes
Golden breaded chicken is surrounded by broccoli and bell peppers, then baked with pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese. Easy and delicious! You can vary the ﬂavor by trying different kinds of bread crumbs: fresh white breadcrumbs, seasoned dry bread crumbs or even cornbread crumbs.
Whenever you can, use the freshest ingredients. Try grating the Parmesan cheese yourself. First, let the piece of Parmesan come to room temperature before cutting it into chunks and grating it in a food processor with the metal blade. Grate a large amount of cheese at one time and store the surplus in bags in the freezer. It will keep for months this way, allowing you to measure it out as needed.
Take a mini portion of regular chicken parmesan and stuff it inside pizza dough. Then top with some pepperoni and more cheese. These sliders are a perfect way to serve chicken parmesan leftovers. They can be a quick and delicious weeknight dinner, party appetizers, or a school/work snack!
As the author of this recipe has written, this is “what happens when your chicken parm wants to go for a little swim”. What a great way to change the routine and serve your favorite dish in a liquid form. This lightened up variety is true comfort food, simply ideal for chilly winter days.
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This easy recipe unites the amazing flavors of two classics – stuffed peppers and chicken parmesan. Shredded chicken, plenty of Parmesan & mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and breadcrumbs find their way into colorful bell peppers. As the peppers bake, the cheese melts, while the breadcrumbs on top become crunchy. For an even quicker variation, use store-bought rotisserie chicken.
I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!