Thursday, January 8, 2009

Perfect Chicken Parmesan and Pasta

I know, perfect is a strong word. But when you make a dish so often that you can't think of a way to improve it, isn't that a kind of perfection? Especially if you suffer from the affliction that causes us cook-types to always want to make NEW recipes instead of tried-and-true dishes.

Chicken parmesan is the exception to this - we both love it, and so it is a frequent dinner. The key is brining the chicken. It adds a lot of flavor (but doesn't make it salty), and keeps the chicken breasts moist and tender. I like to add the cheese to the chicken for baking, but I don't put the sauce on until serving so as to not make the breadcrumbs mushy. I use the basic sauce recipe from my previous post, some mozzarella cheese, and some whole wheat penne. It's not fancy, but this chicken parmesan has achieved kitchen perfection!!

4 boneless chicken breasts
4 cups hot, not boiling, water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon each: dried rosemary, dried marjoram, dried basil
6 ice cubes
3 eggs, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
2 cups panko or regular breadcrumbs
olive oil for frying
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese
2 cups basic sauce

Stir salt, sugar, herbs and spices into hot water until dissolved. Put chicken breasts and ice cubes into brine, making sure chicken is submerged. Remove chicken and discard brine after 30 minutes. Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 2 thinner cutlets from each breast. Preheat oven to 400, or low broil. Heat pan on medium high. Dip each chicken cutlet in egg and then panko or breadcrumbs. Add oil to pan, and fry cutlets in batches without crowding. Place chicken cutlets on baking sheet, and top with cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with pasta and sauce, and a spoonful of sauce over the chicken.


  1. Seriously, one of my favorite dish combos. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  2. Looks Yummy....will try the brine instead of dopey Martha Stewart's buttermilk!

  3. Black and yellow Black and yellow Black and yellow

  4. This really is the perfect chicken parm. Ammmmazzzing