Chicken Pram is probably one of my favorite chicken dishes. As the name says, chicken parmesan requires parmesan cheese which can be quite expensive if purchased at the regular store without a sale going on. To avoid the financial pitfalls (a few dollars’ worth) when making a dish that requires “specialty” cheese, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
First – When you purchase pizza from the store, you are often asked if you would like a few packets of parmesan cheese. Even if I have parmesan cheese at home, I never refuse these little packets because they are so versatile and saves money.
Second – Instead of using parmesan cheese, pecorino Romano cheese is a great substitute. Pecorino Romano is a cheese made from sheep’s milk. The word pecorino means “from the sheep” or “of sheep”. It is Italian in origin, but if you buy a domestic pecorino Romano, you most likely will end up with cheese that’s been made from cow’s milk. Domestic pecorino Romano is often cheaper than imported cheeses.
Third – Use whatever you have on hand. You got cheddar. No problem. You go Jack (cheese, that is). No problem. You have spicy cheese. If you like spicy foods, no problem. Use what you have on hand.
Now that we have the cheese figured out, let’s talk chicken. Usually, a large boneless skinless chicken breast is enough to make 3 to 4 pieces of chicken parmesan. I lay the chicken breast flat on the cutting board and carefully while holding the chicken down with the palm of my hand (fingers away), slice the chicken at about 1/3 of the way down into a thin horizontal slice. Repeat again with the remaining piece. If the piece is very big, you can slice it in half horizontally and slice each of these pieces in half horizontally again. Boneless skinless chicken breast is usually more expensive than purchasing split chicken breast with bones attached. The cost difference for boneless skinless chicken breast is usually double of split chicken breast. The bones from the split chicken breast can be used to make chicken stock. So there’s an added bonus for purchasing the cheaper chicken.
To prepare the chicken breadcrumbs are also required. My personal favorite bread crumb comes from my own kitchen from old bread that’s been toasted in the oven and processed to crumbs. I add Italian seasoning to the crumbs and a couple of packets of parmesan cheese that came from the pizzeria. I do not add salt as the parmesan cheese is already salty enough.Here is everything you need to make parmesan chicken at home:
- 2 lbs of chicken boneless and skinless
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp of parmesan cheese for breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese for topping chicken
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of favorite tomato marina sauce or click her for our favorite sauce
- 1/2 lb of your favorite pasta cooked as instructed on package
- 1/2 cup of oil to fry the chicken
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. When finished and drained, mix in 1 1/4 cups of tomato sauce. Place in an oven safe casserole dish and set aside.
- Mix breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and 2 tsp of parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl that’s big enough to fit a flat piece of chicken. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and set aside.
- Cut each chicken breast horizontally into thin cutlets. Salt and pepper chicken to taste. Place all the chicken cutlets into the bowl with the eggs. Make sure all chicken pieces are covered with egg. Take each piece and dip it in the breadcrumb mixture. Flip and cover the other side. Set aside on a baking sheet. Repeat until all pieces are covered with egg and breadcrumbs. Do not place coated chicken on top of one another. Use a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to keep chicken separated.
- In a shallow frying pan, fry each piece of chicken until golden brown. Remove from frying pan and drain the extra oil on a paper towel covered plate. Repeat until all chicken has been fried. Place the pieces of chicken on top of the pasta. Use 1 tbsp of sauce (or as much as you like) on top of each chicken cutlet and top with cheese. Parmesan cheese and mozzarella are usually the most used.
- Take the casserole dish with the chicken to the oven on 400 F and bake until the cheese is melted.