What’s better than fried chicken? Italian fried chicken! (aka Chicken Parmigiana)

I mean, it’s chicken. Deep-fried. Then topped with some pasta sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan, then baked. What’s not to like?

Chicken Parmesan

Shopping list:

  • Jar of sauce (or about 14oz of home-made if you’re feeling ambitious)
  • Chicken breasts (one per person)
  • Pound of short-ish pasta (whatever you like)
  • Italian breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • nutmeg
  • flour
  • pepper
  • olive oil

To start with, there’s got to be a pasta side.  It wouldn’t be right otherwise.  So start up some water with some salt for that.  Also set the oven for 350F.

Now, for the real business.  Take three bowls.  In the first, put about a cup of flour (you don’t need to measure any of this by the way), around a tablespoon of nutmeg, and roughly two teaspoons of pepper.  In the second, beat two eggs.  The third, a 50/50 mix of Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese – again quantity doesn’t matter, but you’ll want to err on the side of ‘more’.  I put about two cups in total.

Next take a meat thwacker and smack the chicken down so they’re all a consistent thickness somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 inch,(put a piece of cling wrap on and under the chicken or eww)

In a large skillet, add about 3/4″ deep of olive oil.  I know the flash point sucks, but it really does make a difference in flavor.  Turn the heat up high, keep and eye on it, and try not to splash any – especially if you have a gas stove.  “Whoomp” is not a good sound.  Ever.

By the time you’re done beating your meat, the oil should be ready, so it’s time to dredge – coat in the flour mixture, then the egg, then the breadcrumb/Parm mix.  Each time, try and cover every bit.  Then into the oil (and you can assembly line this because the first one into the oil will be the first one out)

While the chicken is cooking, take a 9×13″ pan and coat with canola or whatever your non-stick is.

Check the chicken, flip when the bottom side is starting to get golden, and keep an eye on it.  Once you’ve flipped the chicken, wait about three minutes and check to see if the juices are clear.

Hopefully, that water you started earlier is boiling now, because it’s your timer.  Take the chicken and put it in the 9×13.  Lay down a bead of pasta sauce, top with mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Parm.  Put them in the oven and start the pasta – I like penne for this sort of meal, but whatever you like, capice?  Let the pasta cook for the minimum of the package, and literally, when that’s done (penne is around nine minutes) everything is done, and you can just plate like a crazy person.