Parmesan Chicken…..not Chicken Parmegiana

I’m back in the kitchen again.  I’ve been cooking, but not much of anything I would consider “blog-worthy”.  Here is something easy, quick, and perfect for warm weather meals. It won’t heat up the kitchen nor will it sit heavy. I found the recipe in my collection of Ina Garten recipes.  You may know her as the Barefoot Contessa. It’s kind of like the Italian version of the Midwest Chicken Fried Steak. 

I served it with a variation of the Caprese Salad.  I put a bed of mixed greens on the plate, sliced fresh mozzarella, sliced ripe tomato, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh basil, and grated Parmesan cheese. A bite of salad with a bite of chicken.  So totally good. I think it would be good with any kind of salad.

Here is the recipe using two boneless chicken breasts that I butterflied and pounded out.  I had leftovers. The next day, I diced up some of the chicken and added to salad greens.  Topped with a balsamic vinaigrette and lunch was served. 

This recipe may be doubled or tripled very easily.

Parmesan Chicken
       by Ina Garten, 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra large egg
2 teaspoons water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (I use Progresso brand)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Olive oil

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick.  Making sure you put the piece of chicken between two layers of plastic wrap.  Otherwise, you will have raw chicken splatters all over the place.  (I’ve done that before….once) You can use a meat mallet, a small pan or skillet, a rolling pin, or the back of a ladle.  I use the ladle.  Mine has the perfect flatness on the back of it.  I’m weird, I know.  I also like to butterfly the chicken breasts first.  To butterfly, all you do is cut through the thickness of the chicken breast. It will create two identical pieces of chicken.  You don’t have to do that, you can just pound away.

Next, prepare your dipping plates.  Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on the first plate.  On a second plate, beat the egg with the water.  On the third plate, combine the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese.  Here is the order of dipping:

1.  Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture.
2.  Dip both sides of the chicken in the egg mixture.
3.  Dredge both sides of the chicken in the bread crumb mixture, pressing the bread crumbs in slightly.

Lay the chicken out on a baking sheet until the pan and oil are up to temp.  Do not cook the chicken in the cold oil/butter mixture.  You’ll be sorry. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute.  I heated to just a bit above Medium heat.  Kind of like Medium/Tish High heat.  All stoves are different, so you will have to just watch closely.  Cook two pieces of chicken at a time for about 3 minutes on the first side and then about 2 minutes on the second side.  You will only turn once!  None of that flipping and flipping will do. Add more butter and oil and cook the other two pieces of chicken the same way. 

This is what it will look like.  Golden, crispy, and the smell……..heavenly.  Your house will smell like a restaurant.  Really.  Go outside and come back in.  Breathe deep.  Doesn’t it smell terrific?

Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the chicken breast. 

Here is a picture of the Caprese Salad I served with the chicken.  It makes my mouth water just looking at the picture.  Enjoy!

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