Taste Tested Tuesday: Chicken Parmigiana

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Chicken Parmigiana is a dish nearly everyone I know enjoys. Yesterday, I made it for dinner and now this recipe has a home in my “Impress the Guests” dinner file. The recipe comes from Food Network’s Guy Fieri and it’s a winner. JT and I thought it was a restaurant quality meal.

The recipe is a bit long, but trust me, it’s worth the effort. To make preparation easier, use bagged shredded mozzarella cheese and jarred tomato sauce. Also, be sure to brine the chicken as it is what gives this dish such dynamic flavor. Until I tried this recipe, I had never brined chicken before, but I will seriously consider doing so from now on. Make sure you include the Panko bread crumbs as they add an extra crunch to the chicken’s coating. You should be able to find these bread crumbs in the International or Asian foods aisle of your local supermarket.

Slamma Jamma Chicken Parmigiana

4 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish, grated
Olive oil, for frying (about 2 cups)
1 pound penne rigate, cooked al dente
Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup minced Italian parsley, for garnish

Lightly pound the chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness. Combine the kosher salt, sugar, and 1 quart of water in a 1-gallon size resealable plastic bag; shake until dissolved. Add the chicken breasts and soak at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Place the flour in a medium bowl. Remove the chicken from the brine. Shake off excess moisture and, with tongs, lightly dredge the chicken in the flour. Shake off the excess flour and transfer to a large plate.

Mix the eggs and milk in medium bowl and whisk thoroughly. In a separate bowl combine the bread crumbs, oregano, basil, parsley, sea salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the egg and milk mixture with tongs and let excess mixture drain off. Now dredge the chicken into the bread crumb mixture, and lightly pat down in the bread crumbs to adhere.

Preheat the broiler.

Let the breaded chicken sit for 5 minutes before frying. In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to come 1/3 up the side of the chicken. Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan when cooked and place on a sheet tray. Repeat with remaining chicken.

When all the chicken is cooked, sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the top. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts and is golden brown.

Serve chicken over pasta and ladle tomato sauce on top. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

© 2010, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.

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