What's the difference between Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Parmigiana?
'Parmigiana' means 'from Parma', a city of Northern Italy. NOT Parmesan cheese (although it is not a Northern Italy dish, it's a Southern Italian dish--from Sicily and Campania).
'Parmesan' is the English word for 'Parmigiana', therefore, they are interchangeable.
Who doesn't love this dish? Veal Parmigiana if you are of the adventurous persuasion, Eggplant Parmigiana if you are of the vegetarian persuasion, totally versatile.
You can make this with some bottled spaghetti or marinara sauce pretty easily, but I personally LURVE this version with extra oomph much much more. It's like the Target to your Walmart. Gruyére to your American cheese. Versace to your Forever21. Kate Middleton to your Lindsey Lohan.
Keep it classy, people.
With fresh basil. Lots.
If you could smell my kitchen right now, your mouth would be salivating. You're going to chop half of an onion and a bunch of garlic. Again, I like lots. Sauté the garlic and onion in 1 T butter. Then add an undrained can of petite diced tomatoes. Pure, unadulterated tomatoes. I really dislike those cans of 'flavored' tomatoes...the Mexican ones, the Italian ones, they all taste funky and just have a lot of fake ingredients in them. Go natural here.
Chop a handful of basil and mix it in there.
Add 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t sugar, and 1/4 t red pepper flakes.
Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the colors have darkened and the liquid has reduced a bit, producing a deeper, richer flavor.
Take your raw chicken breasts and pound them to about 1/4"--1/2" thick. I usually do this in a gallon-size plastic bag so I don't have raw chicken all over.
In one bowl, pour 1 c flour and 1/2 t salt. In the next bowl, beat 1 egg and 2 T milk. The last bowl will be 1 c panko bread crumbs, 1/2 c parmesan cheese, 1 T oregano, and 1/2 t salt.
In a large, deep frying pan, heat 2 T EVOO and 2 T butter on medium. The EVOO gives it good flavor (and healthy fats) and the butter also gives a different flavor and more of a browning/crisping action. You can reduce the amount of oil and butter to make it a bit healthier and it will turn out great. Or you can crank those fats up and get more of a fried chicken, also tasty results.
When the oil/butter is hot, dip the chicken first into the flour bowl to coat, then the egg and milk bowl also to coat, and last the panko crumbs bowl....you guessed it, to coat. Really press those crumbs and cheese into the chicken.
Place the chicken in the pan (don't crowd the pan) and it should immediately start sizzling a little. If there's too much sizzling, the outside will cook before the inside does so you'll want to turn the heat down slightly.
At this point you want to be cooking your spaghetti noodles (whole wheat in this house), and spaghetti sauce for your noodles (remember, not for the chicken!). Or you can use the flavorful tomato mixture for your noodles (like I like to do). Also, turn your oven (or toaster oven) on broil.
When the chicken is done, top each piece with the aromatic tomatoes mixture. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, then set in oven to broil and melt your cheese.
Seriously right now?
Sprinkle chicken with more fresh basil, and serve with your spaghetti.
It's 9 am, I haven't had breakfast, and I'm seriously craving this.