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Healthier chicken parmesan

Posted by Lissa on June 15, 2012

Chicken parm = YUM. There’s a restaurant in downtown Boston – Papa Razzi – that does absolutely mouthwatering chicken parmesan. They take a huge, flat slab of chicken, bread it, deep-fry it and top it with sauce and cheese. The SIDE for this dish, by the way, is spaghetti with sauce. Yeah.

I’ve been leery of trying my hand at chicken parm because it’s such a classic dish and Mike loves it so much. And I steer clear of deep-frying ANYTHING, because it’s messy and makes very unhealthy delicious food that you eat too much of and then regret. I have a boatload of kitchen equipment (mostly gifts from my wedding registry) and have refused to allow a fryer through the doorway.

So, here’s a healthier way of getting it done. I think of this as

Chicken Parmesan, Piccatta-style*”

Buy a package of the Thin and Fit chicken breasts that are sliced really thin. (They go on sale at Publix buy-one-get-one and I stock up.) You can pound the chicken out yourself but it takes longer and you’re not going to get them as flat without a serious amount of effort.

Salt, pepper and garlic powder each side of each piece of chicken. Dip each side onto a plate of flour, shaking off excess.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook chicken about 3 minutes each side (4-5 minutes for thicker chicken) until golden brown. (This might take two batches; add a little more oil as needed.) Remove chicken from pan and lay out on a cookie sheet (I recommend lining with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup).

Top chicken with spaghetti sauce (homemade is best!) and sprinkle thickly with reduced fat cheese – mozzarella or four-cheese Italian blend. (You can add in a bit of real parmesan if you like – I did.) Either stick it under the broiler or bake until the cheese gets bubbly and melty. (You don’t have to be picky here. If you’re messing with other things, bake it at 350 for 10-15 minutes. My oven was already set at 425 for the roasted broccoli*, so it took about seven minutes.)

If you like a moist dish (or your husband was a little late to dinner) I recommend topping with additional sauce (again, homemade is best). Serve hot and enjoy!

*I only recently started doing chicken piccata and this is how you do the chicken part of it. Mike pointed out that it could easily apply to chicken parm, and voile!
**I have completely OD’d on steamed broccoli; I just can’t eat it anymore. So lately I’ve been drizzling it with olive oil, adding salt, pepper and garlic powder and roasting it in the oven at 425 for about twenty minutes. Yum!!!


One Response to “Healthier chicken parmesan”

  1. I think I’d improve on this by swapping out the chicken with veal, the flour with breadcrumbs or panko, deep-frying the meat, and topping it with a lot more cheese. There! Much better =D

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