If you enjoy The Chicken Thigh Guy, check out my other food project: The Weekly Menu.
Chicken Parm probably isn’t Italian. It’s Italian American. More accurately, it’s East Coast Red Checkered Table Cloth raffia wrapped wine bottle Italian American classic, and it’s delicious.
While the dish is often made with chicken breast, I prefer thighs, and not just because this is a web site dedicated to chicken thigh dishes. Chicken thighs stay juicy and tender when fried, and the deeper flavor of the meat is really complemented by the breading and the often highly acidic sauce.
The sauce here is simple, and you can of course tweak it to your liking. Personally, I like to spike it with a good dose of red pepper flake and make it a little spicy. If you like, add a little wine, some fennel seed or pollen, even mushrooms. Whatever you fancy, it’s still going to be tasty.
And of course, how you serve it is up to you. The aforementioned red checkered table cloth joint would no doubt serve it over a pile of pasta – probably spaghetti. If that place is a little more rundown and has a couple of deck ovens in the back, you’ll probably get it on soft slightly sweet American Italian bread, wrapped up in foil to steam and meld into a gloppy delicious perfect mess of cheese, chicken, carbs, and magic – so a sandwich is an obvious choice as well.
Pretty much any path you take here you’ll end up with a delicious American classic.
Chicken Thigh ParmesanCourse: Boneless, Dinner, Fried Chicken, italian, Stove TopCuisine: Italian AmericanDifficulty: Medium
A chicken thigh version of the Italian American classic.
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup milk
1 cup AP flour
2 large eggs
1 can peeled diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
- Make the Sauce
- Peel, trim, and finely mince the garlic.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a thick bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Add garlic, oregano, and basil to the oil. Cook until just fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and 1tsp salt and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook until the tomatoes begin to break down 20-30 mins.
- Break up any tomato chunks with a potato masher or the back of a spoon against the side of the pot.
- Keep warm until ready to use.
- Bread the cutlets
- Prepare a three-step breading station.
- Beat the eggs and place in a low bowl or container.
- Spread flour on a plate.
- Spread breadcrumbs on a plate.
- Layer the chicken thighs between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet or the flat of a knife until they are evenly flat, and ½ -1/4 inch thick.
- Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
- Dredge each piece in flour, then dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, working to ensure that each piece is evenly coated at each step.
- Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes or so for the breading to hydrate.
- Prepare a pan with about 2 inches of neutral oil and heat it over medium heat until the oil reaches 350° F.
- Fry the cutlets, turning at least once, until golden brown and cooked through.
- To Finish
- Preheat your oven (or toaster oven or broiler) to 350° F.
- Spoon sauce over the cutlets, top with cheese, and bake or broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling.