A Classic American Dish… Yes, I said “American”
How you doin’? Many of you know that because of my job I think about food all day long, but recently I have been dreaming about food—really great Italian food. Some of the best Italian food I’ve eaten has been in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
When I go to Rao’s or Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood, I never need to read the menu because I’m going there for the Parmigiana—the Chicken or Veal Parmigiana. Neither of these two restaurants invented the dish, and as strange as it might seem, it isn’t even an Italian import. This classic Italian dish was actually created in the United States. New Italian immigrants to the US took the preparation method of Eggplant Parmigiana and adapted it for chicken and veal. The preparation method is the same—dip the chicken (or veal or eggplant) in an egg dip, dredge the breading on to the thin slices, pan fry and serve with tomato sauce and melted Mozzarella cheese. It’s crunchy, saucy, cheesy and yummy.
The recipe comes together easily if you measure all ingredients and have them at your side so you can move from egg-dip to breadcrumbs to the frying pan as quickly as possible. You can make your own homemade tomato sauce or feel free to use your favorite jarred version—I use Rao’s to cut down on the work and time. While this hearty dish doesn’t require much else to make a meal, you can serve it with a tossed green salad, garlic bread, over a bed of spaghetti.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the chicken breast prep
1-pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (uniform in size)
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
For the breading & dredging
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (I use Progresso Seasoned Crumbs)
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
For pan frying the chicken cutlets
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups spaghetti sauce (I use Rao’s Marinara Sauce)
4 slices mozzarella cheese (2 oz) (or Provolone cheese works well or a combination of both)
Cooked spaghetti, for serving (4 to 6 ounces per person)
2 tablespoons chopped or a sprig of Italian parsley (basil or American parsley), for garnish
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind.
And, in my very best Italian:
Per te e per tutti coloro che ti sono cari, sii forte, sii positivo, stai bene, stai al sicuro e sii gentile.
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