My sister, Amy, and sister-in-law, Amanda, both have demonstrated an interest in cooking more. I just love when that happens. So, I promised I would gear a few of the posts to them directly – this is just such a post. So, girls, here is a tutorial to make a Chicken Parmigiana that is out of this world! Of course anyone else is welcome to try it, too. This post will not include the recipe, you can find the recipe in a previous post here.
First, start with 6 chicken boobs. Trim them of all fat, make ’em look good. Then place them in a large ziplock bag, or between 2 sheets of waxed paper or saran wrap, and pound them until they are thin (not too thin) and even all the way around.
Now it’s time to “dredge” the chicken in seasoned flour. Dredge is just a culinary term that means “coat with” – so don’t worry. Set yourself up with a “dredging station” – which is just 3 plates: 1. pounded raw chicken 2. seasoned flour 3. plate for dredged chicken. This makes it so easy and not too messy.
Once your chicken is dredged, it’s time to fry it. For Chicken Parm, you want a crispy browned filet of chicken. You’re going to fry in both olive oil and butter that have been melted together over medium heat. The butter is for the flavor – because butter makes everything taste better – and the olive oil is because butter has what is called a low “smoking temperature” – which is the heat degree at which the butter burns and smokes. Olive oil has a relatively high smoking temperature, so when you mix the two, you get the best of both worlds – plus, olive oil is healthier.
Once the butter is starting to foam a little, and the oil is good and hot, you’re ready to start frying your dredged chicken. Make sure your skillet is large enough that in the end you can fit all 6 pieces of chicken in (you’ll see why at the end), but for now, fry only 3 pieces at a time. You don’t want to crowd the chicken when you’re frying it because if the pan is crowded the moisture from all of that chicken, with little room to escape will make for a soggy coating. So, 3 at a time.
It’ll take about 3 to 4 minutes, per side, over medium heat to get it nice and crispy and brown. Try not to move it around too much, so your coating doesn’t fall off and gets really crispy. You might want to turn your exhaust vent on about now.
Look how nice and brown that is. It’s ready to move to a heated plate and fry up the remaining 3 boobs. I usually preheat my oven to 200 degrees, then put in the empty, oven-proof plate. Once the oven reaches the 200 degrees, turn it off. You can set the chicken in there, on the heated plate, to keep warm while you’re frying the second batch and simmering your sauce.
Now the chicken is all done and keeping warm – DO NOT WASH YOUR SKILLET! Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes or so, stirring gently – try not to disturb the stuck-on stuff just yet.
Then, here’s the best part, add the wine! Stir this and scrape up all those browned bits that are stuck to the pan, this is called “deglazing” – another fancy culinary term. This is where all the flavor is – Yum! Cook this until it is reduced to about half, 3 minutes or so. Don’t worry, the alcohol cooks out, so you can still feed it to the kiddies. If you really don’t want to use wine, you can use chicken stock – but don’t tell me about it – I don’t wanna hear that!
Once that is done reducing, add your crushed tomatoes and sugar and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
Simmer this for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. When the time is almost up, stir in the parsley.
Now here’s the part that is magical. Remember that chicken keeping warm in the oven? You’ll need that. Now. Take the chicken boobs and carefully set them, almost float them, on top of the sauce.
Now cover each piece of chicken with the grated parmesan and a little bit of fresh parsley.
Now, cover the pan, simmer over medium-low for about 7 to 10 minutes and watch the magic happen.
Look at what happens – Holy Deeeeeee-Lisssssh-Usssssss Batman!
Serve this over al dente (a fancy culinary and italian term for, cooked just right – not too hard not too soft) linguine. I find 8 minutes is best for the right texture, even if the box says 9. Place the chicken a little bit to the side of the pasta nest on our plate, add extra sauce to the pasta, sprinkle with fresh parsley and some more cheese if you’re like Drin.
Eat Your Face Off!