Chicken Parmesan


Just 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, a little flour, an egg, dried basil and lemon peel creates the crispy coating that makes Chicken Parmesan.  Cooked on the stove top in a little oil, these encrusted pieces of chicken that have been pounded thin cook in just 10 minutes.  The previous post discussed cooking for others:  Chicken Parmesan is perfect dish to share as it's universally popular, is easily adaptable and tastes much more significant than the simple everyday recipe it really is.

When cooking for others I always like to keep it basic.   I find dishes that are pleasingly plain and can be served on a single platter are most appealing to people who are ill, recovering or adjusting to a new life circumstance.  Comfort food.

Chicken Parmesan is delicious warm or served at room temperature.  The pieces also make a nice sandwich.  There are a couple notes on this dish:
  • The chicken breasts must be flattened.  You can do this yourself by placing boneless chicken breasts in a ziploc bag and pounding them thin with a rubber mallet or a rolling pin.  Buying them flattened is all the better, in my mind.  In St. Louis,  Straub's Markets always have stacks of pounded chicken in the meat case.  Most butchers will pound them for you if you ask.
  • Use a non-stick skillet.  
  • The pasta will need some moisture to prevent it from drying out during the time the dish is transported. 
chicken parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves pounded to 1/8"
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup APflour
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. dried basil, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. grape seed oil

One at a time, place each breast in a Ziploc bag and pound with a rolling pin or meat mallet until the breast in very thin, 1/8" to 1/4".  Brush the pieces with lemon juice.

On a plate combine the flour, pepper and 1/4 tsp. dried basil.  On a second plate, combine the Parmesan  cheese with 1/2 tsp. dried basil and the lemon zest.  Beat the egg, lightly, in a small bowl.  Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Coat each breast with the seasoned flour.  Shake to remove excess.  Dip in the egg, removing excess, and then dredge in the Parmesan cheese mixture.  Place in the hot pan.  Cook 3 minutes per side over medium/high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium/low and cook and additional 2 minutes per side.  

Serve over pasta with a simple tomato sauce or white wine sauce.