I gotta admit – Jason can make a kick-ass chicken parmesan! I don’t even try to make it myself because he puts more time and effort into it than I would! From start to finish the production was over an hour and a half, but it was worth it.
The chicken breasts we had were a decent size – Maple Leaf Portions (they were on sale B1G1 – I’d never pay regular price for those suckers!). By the time Jay hammered them out flat they were huge – we ended up getting three meals for 2 people out of 4 chicken breasts. Jay uses a spicy capicola on top of the chicken to add a bit of extra kick, and all fresh herbs in the breadcrumb crust. Each time he’s made this it’s slightly different, so I’m not calling this a recipe… you can use it as a guide – get creative and make your own. It truly is awesome!
– Choose your tomato sauce. Jay ‘makes his own’ by combining canned/jarred pasta sauce with canned tomatoes and seasons it to his liking, letting it simmer for a while. The extra fresh herbs and garlic and sautéed onions do make it taste better, and it’s easier than starting from scratch.
– Preheat the oven to 375 ish. Pull out a heavy duty frying pan and some cooking oil.
– Prep the bread crumbs: Use a mixture of panko and regular crumbs – or, whichever one you prefer. Panko will be crispier. Put them in a food processor with fresh herbs (Jay used parsley, oregano, and thyme from our garden this time), garlic powder, ground/shaved parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper. Blend it all together and set aside.
– Prep the chicken breasts: Use smaller ones if possible because once they’re flattened they can get pretty large. Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap (this step is necessary to allow the chicken to slide when being pounded). Place the chicken breasts on the cutting board and cover the chicken with plastic wrap. Pound them thinner with a wooden kitchen mallet.
– Make the chicken breasts: Set up three plates/shallow bowls (or pie plates work well) with: flour with salt & pepper, a mixture of egg whites & milk, and the breadcrumbs. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then the eggs/milk, then the breadcrumbs. Repeat so you have a nice crispy coating. Place on a plate.
– Heat the oil in the frying pan – you want enough in the pan so it will ‘deep fry’ the coating – about 1/4 of an inch. You want the oil nice and hot so the coating gets crispy. Cooking the chicken in batches if necessary, cook a few minutes on each side then place on a cookie sheet. Spread a bit of tomato sauce on each piece of chicken, then sprinkle with freshly shredded parmesan (or similar) cheese. Place a slice or two of spicy capicola on each piece of chicken, smother with tomato sauce, and follow again with some cheese. You can get creative with the cheese you use – it doesn’t need to be parmesan – mozzarella or pepper jack are just as delish.
– Bake the chicken for a bit until it’s done. Serve with caesar salad, spaghetti & tomato sauce, and garlic toast. Enjoy!
– Last step: put on stretchy pants!