Okay I totally got off track there, back to the chicken parm. My point is this chicken parm does not require any sauce. It is a fresh, lighter version and if I must say, very tasty. It is great for the summer served with a simple green salad. If you have a really hungry crew, place it between two slices of thick crusty bread and make sandwiches or serve with a side of macaroni and vegetables! I hope you enjoy.
Preheat oven to 375°
For breading -
3 chicken breast halves
1 ½ cups Italian style bread crumbs (I use Progresso)
2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 big clove of garlic minced (I use a cheese grater)
1 tbsp. water
¾ cup flour
Salt and pepper
For the Top -
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 tomato slices
6 big basil leaves
½ tbsp. butter
¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
½ zested lemon
1 tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Lay the chicken breast on a cutting board. Put your hand over the top of the breast and with a very sharp knife, cut the chicken breast in half through the middle. You will end up with 6 thin chicken breast pieces. (If you are not comfortable with a knife, you can pound the chicken out until it is about ½’ thick or buy ½’ thick chicken cutlets) Rinse the chicken and then pat dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
On a large plate, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese and garlic. On a separate plate put the flour. Then in a shallow bowl combine the eggs and water. Now you have your dipping station Dip each breast into the flour, then shake off the excess. Next, dip it in the egg to coat it lightly and hold the chicken over the liquid to let any excess fall back into the bowl. Lastly, dip the chicken in the bread crumbs, turn it over and press it into the breading to coat. Place on a clean plate of cutting board.
In a large non-stick skillet heat up enough oil to cover the bottom by ¼ inch. Over medium to medium high heat, place the breast in the skillet, depending on the size of your skillet you may need to work in batches. I had to do mine 3 at a time. Depending on how big your chicken breasts are, it should take about 4 – 5 minutes on each side. They should be golden brown. If you notice they are getting too brown, turn your heat down a little. When they are done place them on a baking pan (cookie sheet) and cover them with tin foil.
In a separate smaller pan, melt the butter then add the bread crumbs, cheese and lemon zest. Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until they are golden brown.
Take the bread crumb, cheese, lemon zest topping and divide it up equally onto each piece of the cooked chicken on the baking dish. Then place the basil leaf, the tomato and the slice of mozzarella on each piece. Bake in a 375° oven until the cheese is melted.