I’d venture to say that many of us are making a lot of comfort food these days.
I’ve been seeing a lot of stews, sandwiches, casseroles and bread on Instagram, and pasta, chili, fried chicken and even green bean casserole have been on the menu at my house recently.
If you’re craving Italian American comfort food but don’t necessarily want to eat a carb-heavy meal, consider this chicken Parmesan from America’s Test Kitchen’s new book, “Big Flavors from Italian America: Family-Style Favorites from Coast to Coast.”
If you have chicken breasts, canned tomatoes, some stale bread and cheese, you can make this dish and serve it with or without pasta. For a lighter, more fibrous carbohydrate, consider another grain, such as farro or wild rice. Any kind of steamed or roasted vegetable would go along with this chicken Parm, and you could adapt the technique to coat thick slices of eggplant to make a vegetarian version.
Best Chicken Parmesan
We revamped this classic dish by replacing some of the breadcrumbs with grated Parmesan cheese and mixing shredded mozzarella with creamy fontina for cheese that stayed smooth and melty. A sauce bursting with aromatics and fresh basil was the perfect finishing touch. Our favorite crushed tomatoes are SMT Crushed Tomatoes.
— America’s Test Kitchen editors
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
For the chicken:
2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved crosswise and pounded 1/2-inch thick
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
2 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
For the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, oregano and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover to keep warm.
For the chicken: Sprinkle each side of each cutlet with 1/8 teaspoon salt and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Combine mozzarella and fontina in bowl and set aside.
Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Whisk egg and flour in shallow dish until smooth. Combine Parmesan, panko, garlic powder, oregano and pepper in second shallow dish. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dip in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off, then coat with Parmesan mixture, pressing gently to adhere; transfer to large plate.
Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully place 2 cutlets in skillet and cook until crispy and deep golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining 2 cutlets.
Place cutlets on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over top. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
Transfer cutlets to serving platter and top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce separately. Serves 4.
— From “Big Flavors from Italian America: Family-Style Favorites from Coast to Coast” by America's Test Kitchen (Cook’s Country, $29.99)