The third recipe in my Italian Chicken series challenge.
Chicken Parmesan is a popular American favorite of Italian dishes. Fried chicken with pasta? What’s not to like?
I’ve alway been scared of frying chicken. I used to look in amazement at my mother frying chicken. She was talented and had no fear.
I’m also afraid of getting burned. I’ve had oatmeal dropped on my thighs at age 7 yrs. My father-in-law and mother-in-law had their arms burned from frying chicken at their home. It was a grease fire from the skillet onto the stove top.
So when I approach frying I do so …..very….carefully. Chicken Parmesan is all about the breaded chicken cutlets. The crispier the better.
There were seven steps: Prepping, dredging, dipping, breading, resting, frying and broiling.
Prepping. The cutlets (boneless breasts or thighs) are pounded thin with a meat hammer. Then place tje cutlets in a sealed plastic bag with water and 1-2 tsp of salt, for at least 30 minutes. Then pat dry the cutlets with a paper towel.
Dredging. One cutlet at a time, dredge into flour, covering both sides.
Dipping. Take the floured cutlet and dip into beaten eggs (two) with olive oil mixture, covering both sides.
Breading. The cutlet is now pressed into an Italian bread crumb mixture that has minced garlic and oregano. Pressing the moist cutlet carefully onto both sides until covered with crumbs.
Resting. Place the cutlet on a wire rack and let it rest for 10 minutes setting the bread crumbs before frying. This was a pivotal step! I never knew how important this was to making a great finished product!
Frying. Six tsp of olive oil into a non-stick skillet and heat oil is shimmering. Fry two cutlets at a time about 4-5 minutes on each side until crispy. Remove from skillet wtih tongs and set aside on a warm plate. Before frying the last two cutlets remove the skillet from the burner and clean out the oil with paper towel. Repeat the process again for frying the final two cutlets.
Broiling. Place 2-3 TBSP of mozzarella cheese and 1 TBSP of parmesan cheese atop each fried cutlet. Place all four cutlets in a broiler pan and place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and browned.
Serve atop spaghetti and a tomato-basil-garlic sauce.
So what did The Fearless Cook learn?
The skillet got really hot with frying, so I had a lid ready to cover the popping oil when it freaked me out. I took it off the heat whenever I needed to turn the cutlets with a tongs. AND I had to take the skillet away from the burner because the oil flew onto the burner and smoked it a few times.
Frying is time consuming. The frying heated up the kitchen and the fear of frying heated me up. The entire process took about 90 minutes. Once the cutlets were done, the sauce and the pasta were ready to go and it went together quickly to serve.
This was such a fabulous meal I have made it twice already. The cutlets were oh so crispy. Better than Stouffers!