Question: Who doesn’t love a good parmy?? Answer: No-one. Chicken parmigiana is the eternal good menu choice when you are out for a meal – the crumbed chicken, tomato and melted cheese combination is just too good to go past.
As we rarely go out for meals these days, cos you know, ‘kids’ – I have taken to making them myself at home. I find actually buying the chicken breasts and starting from scratch to be the best option. The pre-made parmies you can buy from the butcher are typically: very expensive; paper thin (like you can see through them when you hold them up in the light); covered with unseasoned very ordinary crumb-age and/or topped with tomato sauce from a squeezy bottle. No, no, no and NO.
While I am always one to embrace convenience and certainly support our local butcher for all sorts of other goodies, the parmy is just one thing I like to make from scratch. A little extra effort goes a long, long way as far as taste, enjoyment, and showering of glowing praise goes 😇
I also make my own tomato sauce for this dish – mainly out of necessity as anything tomato based from a jar seems to burn my little girl’s tush (😁). It is not hard, contains only a few basic ingredients and can be left to simmer on the stove top while you get everything else ready, but of course you can substitute for a jar of bought tomato based sauce if you would prefer 😊
For the parmigiana:
2 chicken breasts, halved length ways
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 slices of bread
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried parsley
2/3 cup grated cheese
For the tomato sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Note: If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to make your own sauce you can absolutely substitute with a jar of good quality tomato based pasta sauce.
Prep time: parmigiana – 30 mins, sauce – 5 minutes
Cook time: parmiagian – 20 mins, sauce – 20 minutes
Serves: 2 people
To make the sauce:
Start with the tomato sauce, as this can just happen in the background while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir over medium heat until translucent.
Add tomatoes, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
After approximately 20-30 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning as required. Turn off the heat and set aside until ready to use on top of parmigianas.
To make the parmigianas:
Cut the chicken breasts in half length ways.
This job is always a lot easier if the chicken is a little bit frozen – if you don’t have semi-frozen chicken, good luck! I always struggle cutting in a straight line! 😄
Whisk egg in small bowl.
Whizz 2 x slices of white bread in a food processor. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper as well as the parmesan cheese. Mix around to combine the crumbs and seasoning a bit more evenly.
Give your meat a small little tap-tap with a mallet, not to make it super thin, just to even up a little bit if, like me, you get really wonky slices of chicken when you ‘halve’ the breasts.
Commence egg, crumb, set aside, repeat. I got my little one to help me here, which was a terrible, very messy idea. But she later claimed she ‘cooked dinner’ and ate all of her schnitz so perhaps an indirect win.
Once all the chicken has been crumbed, preheat oven to 180C and heat oil in frypan. You do need a bit of oil for this step – make sure the whole bottom of the pan has a good slick of oil. If you skimp with the oil at this stage your crumb will stick to the bottom of the pan and you will be very disappointed (I may be talking from experience 😄). If you are worried about the oil factor you can drain on paper towel after you’ve cooked, but I say live a little, #YOLO and all that jazz.
Once the chicken is cooked through – when you stick a knife in and the juices run clear – transfer to a lined baking tray.
Top with tomato sauce, then grated cheese and a sprinkle of dried parsley.
Pop in your preheated oven for about 5-6 minutes – or until the cheese has melted and is golden. And you are DONE!
Serve with a simple salad. I served with my Sweet potato, cranberry and feta salad and it worked a treat. Enjoy! 💜