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Course: Mains
Keyword: Chicken, Chicken Parm, Comfort Food, Italian

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan from Alton Brown's Good Eats: The Return.
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
More American classic than Italian creation, Chicken Parmesan has long suffered from soggy breading, insipid sauce, and gummy cheese topping.
No more! This Italian-American culinary concoction finally gets its due with San Marzano tomatoes, crispy coating, and a foolproof cooking method that guarantees cheesy goodness.
Note: This makes more sauce than is needed for the chicken. Refrigerate the extra for up to a week ,or, better still, freeze it for a rainy day
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: The Return.
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For the Red Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (2-inch) Parmesan rind

For the Chicken Parm

  • 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups salt and vinegar potato chips, not kettle cooked or thick-cut
  • 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 cup Red Sauce (above), divided
  • 2 ounces grated low-moisture mozzarella
  • 2 ounces grated Italian fontina
  • Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnishing

Specialized Hardware

9-by-13-inch broiler-safe baking dish or pan
Mortar and pestle and a large wooden spoon
Chicken Parmesan from Alton Brown's Good Eats: The Return.
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


Red Sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and the red pepper flakes and cook, breaking up the anchovies with the back of a wooden spoon, until the anchovies dissolve into the oil, about 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and the salt. Break up the tomatoes with the back of the spoon, then submerge the Parmesan rind in the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is almost dry, about 1 hour.
  • Discard the Parmesan rind or feed it to the dog. Use the sauce immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge. (See note.)

Chicken Parm

  • Cut the butterflied and pounded breasts into 6 to 8 even pieces. Season with the salt on both sides and place on a rack set inside a half sheet pan. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, use your hands to crush the potato chips into small flakes. Transfer to a large bowl, then stir in the breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, and garlic powder.
  • Set up a breading station with three loaf pans: Place the flour in the first pan, the beaten eggs in the second, and the breadcrumb mixture in the third. Set a clean wire rack inside a half sheet pan to hold the breaded pieces.
  • Blot the chicken well with paper towels. Dredge the chicken first in the flour (shake off the excess), then dip in the beaten eggs (again, drain the excess), and finally coat with the breadcrumbs before placing on the prepared rack.
  • Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven and crank the broiler to high. Line a clean half sheet pan or large plate with paper towels and have it standing by the cooktop.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in an 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter foams, add half the breaded chicken to the pan, but don’t overcrowd. Cook, flipping once, until crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add more oil if needed. Transfer to the paper towel-lined sheet pan, wipe out the pan and repeat with the remaining butter, oil and chicken.
  • Spread 3/4 cup of the red sauce into the bottom of a a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe baking dish and broil until the sauce bubbles and begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer. Dot the chicken with the remaining red sauce, leaving bare spots to retain some crispy bits. Scatter the fontina and mozzarella over the sauce.
  • Return to the broiler just until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.
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