When I recently discovered that Chicken Parmesan is one of a friend’s very favorite dishes, I was dismayed. Traditionally, this is a chicken breast dish and when it comes to chicken, I am not a breast girl! I find the breast cut dry and lacking in flavor. Then, I thought up a way to prepare it so it comes out of the oven moist, tender and flavorful.
My trick? Instead of the breast, I used pounded, boneless chicken thighs. I swear by this method! The chicken comes out nearly fork-tender and juicy. Not only that, when you pound it just enough, you won’t need to divulge to any picky “white meat only” eaters that they are dining on the thigh. Trust me: they won’t even ask.
Here is what I did.
TENDER CHICKEN PARMESAN
Chicken Preparation: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place 4 – 6 boneless chicken thighs in a plastic grocery bag or between plastic sheets. Be sure they are unfolded.
- Using a good tool (I use a flat, river rock. But a mallet or the side of your rolling pin will do. If you have to resort to using a wine bottle, be careful not to break it!), gently pound and flatten each piece to about 1/3 of an inch. Do not over flatten! You want to pound them just enough to make each piece tender and even in thickness.
- Salt and pepper all sides of your chicken pieces before proceeding to the breading stage, below.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or butter in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Immerse each piece of chicken into
1. Flour (shake off extra)
2. Egg wash (1 beaten egg per every 2 pieces of chicken, so 2 eggs for 4 pieces of chicken and so forth).
3. Panko. Be sure to press the Panko bread crumbs into the chicken, fullycovering it.
- Sauté chicken a few minutes on each side, until the Panko crust is beginning to brown.
- Place chicken in a buttered baking dish, either side up.
- Spoon on 2 – 3 tablespoons of bottled or home-made tomato sauce to cover chicken top.
- Optional: Dab on pesto sauce if you have some handy, or add a few leaves of fresh basil.
- Cover chicken with Mozzarella (whatever type you have, fresh, bagged, either way).
- Cover chicken once again with grated Parmesan.
- Bake 15-20 minutes and serve.
If you don’t have Panko crumbs, use any bread crumb. If you can add some crushed corn flakes to your bread crumbs, it will be extra crispy.