Jul 15, 2016

Chicken Parmigiana

I did a lot of driving back and forth today, and barely had time for lunch. Caught up in traffic I looked up to see a McDonald's billboard, which showed their newest offering, which they called Chicken Italianna. 'Our signature chicken fillet with meaty tomato sauce,' it said. I decided to make a quick drive-through to give their new dish a try.

It was good. Or baka gutom lang ako. :)

Anyhow, that inspired me to make Chicken Parmigiana for dinner.  My mom wanted Afritada, but all I had in my freezer were chicken fillets, and I was really gunning for Parmigiana. :)


What's In It?

1 kg chicken thigh fillets, pounded to 1/4" thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 pack Aji Crispy Fry breading mix
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup butter
1 can Del Monte Diced Tomatoes
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (parsley, thyme, basil and oregano)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

1 cup shredded mozzarella

2 cups + 3T cooking oil, for deep frying and sauteing
a few stalks of parsley, chopped, for garnish

Kitchen Conjugations:

In a small wok, heat oil over medium heat.

In a bowl, marinate chicken fillets in salt and pepper.  Set aside and assemble the ingredients for breading:
In a shallow plate, pour flour.  In another bowl,  beat eggs.  In a third bowl, mix bread crumbs, breading mix and parmesan cheese.

When the cooking oil is hot and ready, start breading the chicken fillets-- coat them with flour, dip them in the beaten egg, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Drop 3-4 pieces at a time into the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown.  Do the same for all the chicken fillets.

As the chicken cooks, prepare sauce-- in a wok or shallow sauce pan, melt butter, then saute onions and garlic. Stir fry for about two minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.  Pour in the diced tomatoes and press the tomatoes to the sides of the pan to release the juice. Stir in salt and pepper, and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.  Add in sugar if using, then allow to simmer for 1 or 2 minutes more. Stir in herbs, check seasonings, simmer for 30 seconds more.  Remove from fire and set aside.

In a baking dish, pour some of the sauce to line the bottom of the pan. Arrange chicken pieces on the pan, top them with some of the sauce and the shredded mozzarella.  Bake for 15 minutes at 200C or until cheese melts.  Garnish with chopped parsley or other Italian herbs and serve.

Great with any pasta, baked potatoes, even steamed rice. :)


1. The baking gives the dish a new dimension in terms of flavor and texture, but if you do not have an oven, you can skip the baking part and serve the Chicken Parmigiana after topping it with sauce, cheese and herbs. 

2. Quickmelt cheese can be substituted for the mozzarella.

3. Clara Ole Three Cheese Spaghetti Sauce is a good alternative for the diced tomato sauce I used here.  I just like my sauce to be a bit chunky kasi.  I think the 250 g pack will do.

4. Vegetarians can use sliced eggplants in place of the chicken.  

5. Pork cutlets and fish fillets can also be used in place of the chicken. 

6.  In place of the Crispy Fry breading mix, you may use 1/4 cup all purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch + 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper + 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder + 1/2 teaspoon onion powder + 1/4 teaspoon paprika + 1/2 teaspoon sugar