When my brother and I were little we had this weird bit that we’d say back and forth to each other. It went a little something like this: pahrrrmuhzhon cheeeese with the pitch and intonation of our voice resembling a nicely shaped parabola. PAHRmuhzhonn chEEse. Come on now, you know you wanna try saying it.
Anyway. My original intention in writing this post was to impart some advice about what to do with those spice blends you might sometimes receive as a hostess gift and not know what to do with. Have you ever been the recipient of one of these?
Mine just happens to be a “parmesan” blend containing parmesan (not completely sure whether it’s parmesan cheese or parmesan flavor) and a combination of other herbs. It’s great to add a little bit to a dish of olive oil for bread-dipping or brushing on to a pizza dough before baking. And I love to add a pinch to my scrambled eggs. But beyond that, I was at a loss for what to do with it.
So I decided to try it in seasoning my parmesan chicken. It merits explaining that parmesan chicken is basically a breaded chicken that is usually pan fried or baked and served with tomato sauce. It’s called “pahrrrmuhzhon” because the breading contains grated parmesan cheese.
I remember watching an episode of Emeril once in which he added salt and pepper to the flour, the eggs, and the breadcrumb mixture (as you see above) and looked up at the camera as he was doing so saying I don’t know about you but where I get my flour, it doesn’t come seasoned. And my eggs don’t come seasoned either! Since that episode, I have always added a pinch of salt and pepper to each of my breading ingredients. This time I also decided to add a pinch of my ready-made parmesan seasoning. Not only was I able to use up some of the spice mix, I also added an extra layer of flavor to my chicken. Yum!
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– Station#1: 1 cup flour (with a pinch of salt, pepper, and parmesan spice mix)
– Station #2: 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt, pepper, and parmesan spice mix
– Station #3: 1 cup panko breadcrumbs plus 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (with a pinch of salt, pepper, and parmesan spice mix)
Note: You can use regular breadcrumbs (or Italian style) or homemade. I like the extra crunch that panko offers.
1. Heat some olive oil in a skillet (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium-high heat.
2. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip generously in the egg, letting the excess drip off. Coat generously with the breadcrumb mixture.
3. Cook in the oil, about 7-8 minutes per side.
4. Serve with pasta, rice, or bread (or not) with your favorite prepared marinara sauce and extra shavings of parmesan cheese.
Some people are turned off by the three-dish breading plan, but I always put my mixtures on dishwasher friendly plates for easy cleanup. You really do need all three steps: the flour helps the egg stick, the egg helps the breadcrumbs stick. So unless you want your breadcrumbs sliding off your chicken leaving them nude and shivering in the pan, follow my advice for the breading technique. It’s really quite a simple dish and a good stand-by for those busy weeknights.
What’s your go-to meal on busy weeknights? Are you a fan of chicken parmesan? Or do you think it’s overdone? Do tell.
P.S. This is my 99th post! Big changes coming with the next one! 🙂