What is your favorite Italian menu item dish when ordering from a restaurant, is it Lasagna, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Pizza, or Chicken Parmesan. Name your favorite Italian dish in the comments section below as it would be very interesting to see your response. Personally, it is very hard to choose my most favorite Italian dish, so I will discuss in this blog one of the ways to prepare, sauté and bake chicken for Chicken Parmesan and of course, the Homemade Pasta to go along with this popular dish.
Ingredients: chicken breasts, Italian bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, flour, ragu sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, olive oil, butter, egg, mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese
Equipment/Tools: large skillet, tongs, pasta bowls, pasta server, bench scraper, baking dish meat tenderizer/mallet, chef’s knife, whisk, pasta maker machine or kitchen aid roller & cutter attachment
Step One – Clean your boneless chicken breast. Yes, that is the correct chicken part to use, even though I have seen others use different chicken parts to make Chicken Parmesan. Clean the chicken breast by soaking in a water, salt and vinegar solution (brine). After cleaning and patting the chicken dry with paper towels, butterfly the chicken breast, only if the breast is very thick. Avoid using a whole, thick cut of the chicken breast when making this dish as it will bake unevenly. Starting from the thickest part of the chicken breast, cut, butterfly (split in half) open like a book, then cut down the middle. There you go, you got this!
Once you have halved the chicken breast, we want to ensure that our meat is tender. When cleaning and soaking the chicken as in Step One, this method of brining creates a more tender cut of meat. The use of a meat tenderizer/mallet should do the trick as well, as it has two purposes when being used with chicken breasts.
The first purpose is to create the same thickness throughout the breast, as the middle is much thicker than the ends. Pounding the chicken breast with the meat tenderizer will flatten the thicker part (paillard method).
The second purpose of using a meat tenderizer/mallet is to break the muscle fibers of meat. Okay, enough of that, let’s get going!
Step Two – Place cleaned chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat tenderizer/mallet, pound chicken until desired thickness is even throughout and achieved. This is where stress is relieved by taking it out on the chicken breast! Yes! Let it out!!!
Step Three – Prepare the sauce whether it is your favorite or home-made. The flavor of your favorite sauce can be enhanced by adding an assortment of seasonings. Nothing is wrong with doing this, whatever pleases you, go for it! As your sauce starts to boil, lower flame to a simmer and cover or you will have tomato sauce all over your stove. We don’t want that! No, no.
Step Four – In four separate pasta bowls, add Italian bread crumbs to one bowl, add flour to another bowl, add Panko bread crumbs to another and lastly add parmesan cheese to the last bowl. Prepare the skillet by adding oil and butter at medium heat temperature.
Step Five – In a medium sized custard cup, add eggs and mayonnaise. Using a whisk, mix together. Set aside. This little concoction works as your binding agent to hold your flour, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese like glue, onto your chicken breasts.
Step Six – Season the chicken breast on both sides with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken into flour, then coat with egg mixture, then dredge into each bread crumb and lastly, into the parmesan cheese.
Step Seven – Add dredged and coated chicken breasts to heated skillet until browned on both sides. Be careful not to burn the coated chicken, depending on your flame and skillet size, this step should take only a few minutes.
Step Eight – Using a baking dish, add some of the sauce to the bottom of the dish, reserving some sauce to pour on top of the browned chicken. This step will add moisture to your Chicken Parmesan once finished and placed on top of your pasta.
Step Nine – Once all of the chicken is browned, add chicken to the sauce-lined baking dish. The chicken can touch sides but avoid putting them on top of each other. It will be perfectly fine if they look squashed or tight in the baking dish.
Step Ten – Using a ladle or large serving spoon, pour and spread sauce on top of the chicken. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Using a food thermometer will ensure that your chicken reaches the required internal cooking temperature.
Step Eleven – While the chicken is in the oven, time to make some Homemade Pasta. Go to my recipes to make your very own pasta. It’s super easy!
Step Twelve – Once chicken is ready, remove from the oven, remove foil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, add mozzarella cheese on top and garnish with fresh basil. Place back in the oven for five minutes. Turn the oven off, the oven will continue to generate heat allowing the cheese to melt.
Even though it seems to take a long time to prepare and bake this Chicken Parmesan while following all of the steps, it’s actually pretty easy and quick to make from start to finish. Right up my alley! This will be one of those recipes that lands on top of your favorite cookbook. In no time, this dish will be made WITHOUT the recipe! You can find the video on making Aunt Carmen’s Chicken Parmesan on TikTok and Instagram.