Okay so I cannot tell you guys how many times I made this recipe before I was happy with how it tasted. Years ago when I was still living at home, I decided to cook dinner for my fam. Which would have been my two beautiful sisters and my parents. Anyways, while I was trying to think of something that appealed to everyone’s taste buds, I remembered watching Giada make these Parmesan crusted pork chops on the Food Network.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you know who i’m talking about when I say Giada. Her name is Giada De Laurentiis and she is a Food Network OG (Original Gangster). Probably the main reason I fell in love with her is her Italian roots. And even though I don’t think I have ANY Italian in me, its food and culture is something that continues to intrigue me over and over. I was so fortunate to visit Venice when I was in high school, but one day was just not enough to see all it had to offer.
Okay back to food. So I saw the recipe for Parmesan Pork Chops and I figured I’d give them a go. The rest of my family probably couldn’t have cared less about them. My mom was just happy that someone else had made dinner. But my dad. My dad still talks about them to this day. Maybe he just really likes pork chops I don’t know. But I do know he liked these. The recipe for those *delicious* pork chops is right here, y’all. 🙂
Join me in the future now, where I decided to make my own Parmesan chicken. As I said earlier, I was getting so freaking tired of eating these, but I had to get this recipe right. I wanted to add something extra though, so the first few times I experimented with some thyme and lemon zest. You’ll notice the final recipe has neither of those ingredients. Needless to day, they just didn’t work. I added the zest in with the bread crumb mixture, but I think it ended up a bit burnt when I fried it…But I was onto something with that lemon flavor. Sooooo, I squeezed some juice into the eggs and that was the winner.
I will tell you, though, that the egg turned a different color when I added the lemon juice in. Just a bit paler of a yellow. But I’m still alive and well. I also have read that people add lemon juice into their scrambled eggs and eat them just like that. What I’m getting to here is that I was nervous when the juice turned the eggs turn another color, but it’s totally fine.
So I’ve made this with bread crumbs mostly, but I’ve also used some crackers too, and that was a stroke of genius I must say. It makes the crust crunchier and a bit richer because of the butter. Any kind of buttery, flaky cracker will probably work. Just be sure to process them till they’re pretty fine.
As far as the quality of cheese you use, use what you have, man. If you have a fancy, expensive wedge of Parmesan from Queen Nefertiti herself, use it. (I like ancient Egyptian history, sorry not sorry.) If you have Parmesan from a green plastic container, use that. I’ve used them both.
Also be sure to use oil for this and not butter. I really like cooking with butter over olive oil, but the butter has a higher burning temperature than oil. And we don’t want the chicken to burn on the outside before they get cooked through.
I used chicken breasts cut in half, or like butterflied all the way through, and tenderized them with the bottom of a meatloaf pan cause that’s the first thing I laid eyes on when I was looking for something to do the trick. (I don’t have a meat tenderizer. So what?) When you’re cutting them in half, use a super sharp knife to ensure an even cut throughout. It’s kinda difficult at first but you’ll get better at it I promise.
As for how much oil to use, I’m really bad at measuring it. A general rule is to make sure there’s enough to easily cover the pan. And you’ll be working in batches, so you can always add more in between. Just give the oil a few seconds to heat up again if you do add more. That allows for that super crunchy crust we all know and love.
So you think this blog is missing something, right? Let me explain. Basically, I lost my access to this super program called Photoshop, (I’m sure you’ve heard of it) and I’m still working on getting my camera settings right. So for now, my blog posts will be missing photos. Sad day. ALAS. I still plan to continue writing and cooking, because that’s what I started this thing for in the first place.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- 2 chicken breasts, butterflied all the way through
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, Italian style
- 2/3 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to generously coat the pan. You can add more between batches if needed. My eye was set at about medium high heat.
- In a plate or pie dish, crack egg and combine with the lemon juice.
- In another dish, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Set these aside.
- With your hand on top of one piece of chicken, take a sharp knife and cut through the breast, like a butterfly cut, but all the way through. Do this to both breasts.
- Cover with plastic wrap and tenderize till each piece is about the same size. Remove plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper.
- Dredge each piece of chicken with the egg mixture, then coat well with the cheese and bread crumb mixture.
- Working in batches, add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear.