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Chicken Parmesan

This is my own version of chicken parmesan. I like this method mostly because of the heartier sauce and of course the little chunks of pepperoni goodness found within.

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Chicken Parmesan

by zirbirt

So, as usual, I don't have a specific recipe I follow for making chicken parmesan. I just build it based on what I want to experience when eating it. For me, the chicken and the parmesan is pretty straight forward, so the main point of contention is the sauce.

I want a hearty sauce that compliments the sizable amount of chicken and cheese. I want it to sit on the fork, not just be laced inside the noodles and drip away. I want the sauce to have a bite to it as well. This all leads me to my own modified version of pasta sauce.

Chicken Parmesan:
2-4 Chicken Breasts
1 Egg
1/2 cup Milk
Panko Bread Crumbs
salt and Pepper
angel hair pasta
Sauce (recipe below)
1 cup parmesan cheese (shredded or sliced)

The Sauce:
2 Tbs Olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 medium onion (diced small)
1/2 cup chopped Pepperoni
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt

I always start with the sauce. To begin I grab a medium pot and warm the olive oil over medium-high heat (about 6 or 7).

I then toss in my onions, garlic and pepperoni.

You might be wondering, why pepperoni? I love the flavor the pepperoni adds to the final sauce. It just gives the whole thing a more meaty taste without a lot of meat. It's also a real treat when you bite in and get a little chunk of pepperoni.

I sauté until the onions are clear and the pepperonis just start to get a hint of color.

I then toss in everything else.

Ok, so on a side note, I want to talk about the tomato used in here. I only use 2 cans of diced tomatoes, with juice and all added. I don't use tomato sauce or tomato paste. This means I end up with a super chunky sauce, with a small amount of wetness to it. The wetness seeps directly into the noodles without smothering them, or flooding the plate. This small amount of thin liquid provides flavor, without a lot of goo.

The main body of this sauce is thick, and bitable. It create a good lump that will sit comfortably on a fork. For this application, this is exactly what I want. So I can Cut off a piece of chicken (topped with cheese), then Scoop up a bit of sauce, and finally grab some noodles for that perfectly balanced bite.

This all being said, some people will prefer a more saucy sauce. If you are one of those people.. just throw in 1 can of tomato sauce or tomato paste, depending on what your looking for.

I let this sauce come to a boil over medium high heat. Then, I reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often.

In the end, I will have this:

While my sauce simmers, I begin prepping the rest of my meal. To do this, I put the sauce on a back burner, when I drop it to low heat. For the front burners get 1 large skillet (for the chicken) and 1 large pot of water (with 1 Tbs of salt), for the pasta.

I also grab my chicken breasts and cut off any remaining fat or skin on them.

for each breast I:

Place the breast on my prep mat, and apply salt and pepper.

Then cover it with saran wrap.

I grab my meat mallet, or a soup can, a heavy shoe, a picture of my mother-in-law, or whatever else is handy... and begin flattening it down. I'm not looking to make this super flat. My main goal is to get the entire breast to about the same thickness, and about 1/2 an inch thick.

Next, I take 2 paper plates and 1 bowl.

In paper plate A: I put 1/2 cup of flour, a pinch of salt and some dried parsley.

In paper plate B: I put panko bread crumbs

In the Bowl: I put 1 egg and about 1/4 cup of water and mix well.

I place these side by side with the crumbs closest to the pan and the flour furthest.. and the eggs in between.

I toss about 2-3 Tbs of oil in my large skillet and heat it over medium high heat.

Once it is hot, I dredge my chicken in the flour (coat the entire chicken with flour).

I dip the floured breast into the egg on both sides.

Then I place it in the bread crumbs, and cover both sides with bread crumbs.

Finally I stick it in the skillet. I can usually do 2 at a time in my large skillet.

I cook each side for about 3 minutes. I'm not really worried about cooking the chicken through, my main concern is that the breading gets a nice golden brown on both sides.

When the chicken is golden brown on both sides, I place them on a rack in a foil lined pan.

I then scoop on my sauce.. a lot of it.

See how that hearty sauce just sits right on top of the chicken. It isn't planning on going anywhere.

Next up, I put on a lot of parmesan cheese. I don't use any other kind of cheese, you can, but I choose not to.

This goes into a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and the chicken is fully cooked.

It will then come out looking like this:

About the time I start putting my chicken in the skillet, I also turn the heat under my water to medium high. Once it start boiling, I toss in about half a package of angel hair pasta.

Once done, I strain it as per normal and place it on a plate.

I add on some of my remaining sauce:

then sprinkle on a little parmesan

and finally, lay my chicken right on top.

Toss on a few breadsticks or some garlic bread, and dinner is served.

Hope you enjoyed this posting. As always, thanks for reading.

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