Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken Parmigiana - Take advantage of those Sales!

Here's a bit of the way the world works today different from the way your grandmama cooked.  Bone in chicken is hard to find these days, and when you do, it is usually more expensive than the less labor intensive boneless-skinless option.  But, here's the rub... Chicken with bones and skin has more flavor and cooks more evenly than boneless-skinless chicken.  The bone has flavors that will make your chicken have a stronger chicken flavor.  The skin helps to retain the moisture inside the meat and helps to make the meat more tender and juicy.

Given an "all things equal" option, I will always take the bone in, skin on option.

But sometimes things are not equal.  Recently my under-priced grocery store had a tremendous sale on boneless-skinless. I wasn't gonna pass it up.

Knowledge is power.  Especially in the kitchen. I have ranted in the past about the difference in meat from today versus your Grandmama's days.  Chicken (especially breast meat) is not the same as chickens from days gone by. The meat is thicker and leaner now.  Cooking times must be adjusted, or better yet, follow an easy tip...
Tip of the day... 
 Use a remote prob temperature thermometer and cook by internal temperature, NOT by time. 
These new fangled thermometers are cheap (Kohl's has a Food Network brand for under $20).  Your food will taste better, be more moist and tender.  And, a knowledgeable cook can take advantage of a meat sale and cook that item to it's tastiest best!  Follow this tip, you will be glad you did.

And this recipe for a fried originally and then baked chicken dish is a perfect dish to break in that thermometer.

Serves 2, easily doubled

2 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Egg
1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup Flour
2 TBS "Not your Grandmother's Herbs de Provence"|
Note: substitute herbs of your choice or even seasoned bread crumbs if you like
3 TBS Canola Oil 
4 slices Provolone Cheese
1 cup Marinara Sauce
enough Spaghetti for two
Parmesan Cheese

  1. Whisk together the Egg and Milk
  2. Mix the Herbs and Flour
  3. In a heavy skillet (great time to get out that cast iron skillet), heat the Canola Oil to just barely smoking.
  4. While that is heating, dip the Chicken in the egg/buttermilk mixture, then in the flour/herb mixture.
  5. Brown each side of the chicken.  Just brown, you are going to bake the chicken, so do not cook too long.  It is important to have your oil HOT first, so the chicken browns without getting oily.  Just about 3 minutes per side.
  6. line a thin layer of the Marinara Sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and set the chicken in the sauce.  Top with a small amount of sauce, followed by the cheese slices.  Sprinkle on a bit more herbs.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches just 165 (no higher).  This took about 28 minutes.  The original recipe I altered said to bake for 35 minutes.  If I had, the chicken would have been dried out and over cooked.
  8. Serve with spaghetti and Garlic Toast.

Here's a few photos I took trying to make this look appealing...



  1. Measuring temperature is DEFINITELY the way to go! I'm chicken thighs girl myself but I think everyone can make an exception when it comes to chicken parm. Always delicious.

  2. Meat is definitely different than what grandmother used to cook. I don't mind the boneless but, I am a bigger fan of the boneless thigh than the breast. I think dark meat has more flavor and fat.

    I guess I should consider a thermometer and stop poking my chicken with a fork to see if the liquids run clear as my doneness method ( okay, stop cringing :-) ).

    Your parmesan looks great.


  3. My husband would eat chicken parmesan everyday if he could. I like your take on it. It deserves a try!


  4. You are preaching to the choir..bone in, skin on! Love it. I'll have to work harder on the temperature thing. I do own a good one. This looks really good Dave. And thanks for the comment on my blog with all the photo info.

  5. My sister has always told me to buy chicken breast with the bone for that very reason. Here the bone in is always cheaper than the boneless chicken breasts, but I have a fear of eating food off the bone. I know its crazy, but I should just try it so at least my family can make their own decision. Happy New Year Dave!

  6. I need to use my thermometer more often.

  7. Wishing you a great blogging new year.

  8. Very nice - sounds wonderful. Happy New Year!

  9. Remote probe thermometers rock! I just can't do cooking by time anymore, I have to go by temps. A remote probe and an instant read are a cook's best friend, you're right.