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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Night Cooking: Chicken Parmesan Nuggets

I asked Adam what he wanted for dinner and he said chicken nuggets. I didn't really want chicken nuggets but I remembered a chicken Parmesan recipe that we tried a while back. So I did a new variation of the recipe where I cut the chicken into nuggets and then dipped and fried them. I thought it worked pretty good. I also made a simple marinara out of tomato sauce, onions and garlic.

Here is the original recipe from Cooks Illustrated:

Best Chicken Parmesan

Serves 4

Our preferred brands of crushed tomatoes are Tuttorosso and Muir Glen. This recipe makes enough sauce to top the cutlets as well as four servings of pasta. Serve with pasta and a simple green salad.


    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 coarsely chopped fresh basil

    2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally, 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 bread crumbs
    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


    1. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering. Add garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, oregano, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, 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. Cover and keep warm.

    2. 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; set aside.

    3. Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Whisk egg and flour together in shallow dish or pie plate until smooth. Combine Parmesan, panko, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper in second shallow dish or pie plate. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge cutlet in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides in Parmesan mixture, pressing gently so crumbs adhere. Transfer cutlet to large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

    4. Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully place 2 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until bottoms are crispy and deep golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip cutlets and cook on second side until deep golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. Transfer cutlets to paper towel–lined plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.

    5. Place cutlets on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over cutlets, covering as much surface area as possible. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter and top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce separately.

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