Classic Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken parmigiana is, believe it or not, an Italian American dish.  

Interestingly, you will not find this dish on a menu in Italy. Instead, eggplant is the star ingredient in their version.

In the mid 1900’s Italian immigrants came to the US looking for better jobs with higher wages. At the time eggplant was more difficult to find in the US, and meat was less expensive in America than Europe.  Immigrants adapted their vegetarian based cuisine to be more meat focused.  

Chicken “Parm” was a dish that started popping up in American cuisine in the North East, in the 1950’s. By 1962 Chicken Parm was making its way onto restaurant menus and it’s popularity soared! 

Chicken Parmigiana

(serves 5) 

10 Chicken Cutlets- (About 2 lbs. And ⅛ to ¼ of an inch thick)

6 Eggs-beaten

¼ tsp each of salt & pepper

4 cups homemade breadcrumbs-See recipe (Pg.?)

4 cups of Tomato Sauce- Warmed – See recipe (pg.?)

½  cup Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

10 ounces Mozzarella Cheese- about 2 ½ Cups shredded

10 leaves basil-chopped

Vegetable oil and Olive oil for frying

Heat a mixture of half vegetable and half olive oil in a frying pan (I use 2 – 11 inch pans) on medium.  

Beat eggs with salt and pepper.  Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl.  Dip the cutlets in the egg and shake off any excess.  Then dip the cutlets into the breadcrumbs.  Make sure they are fully coated but shake off the excess.  Put the cutlets in the frying pan and cook in batches. Cook approximately 4 to 5 minutes on each side. If you notice the cutlets are browning too quickly, lower the heat.  Remove the cutlets to a paper towel lined dish. Gently pat with a paper towel to get off any excess oil. Then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool.  

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil.  Spoon  a layer of the sauce on the bottom of the sheet pan.  Add a layer of the cutlets.  Top each cutlet with some sauce, then the grated cheese and then the basil. Last, evenly top the cutlets with the shredded mozzarella. Bake until the mozzarella melts completely. About 10 minutes.  

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