How to Make Chicken Parmesan
This recipe calls for my Basic Tomato Sauce and shows why it is an essential part of my cooking. As you will see, Basic Tomato Sauce is great as a base for numerous pasta sauces, but it is also an essential ingredient to my Chicken Parmesan recipe.
The traditional method for making this dish is to coat the chicken with grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, hence the name. But most of us make a different version that could be called “Chicken Mozzarella” where the chicken is coated with bread crumbs, topped with Mozzarella cheese and a basic tomato sauce, then finished with some grated Parmesan cheese.
Both cheeses are delicious but completely different in texture and taste. Parmesan is a hard, dry cheese made from cow’s milk and has a rich, sharp flavor. There are Parmesan cheeses made all over the world but the best is Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Although more expensive, this granular textured cheese whose processing method hasn’t changed in the last 700 years is usually aged for 2 years. Two reasons why Parmigiano-Reggiano has better taste and consistency than other parmesans; (1) the flavor of the milk comes from cows on strictly controlled diets, and (2) the strict production codes dating back centuries.
Mozzarella (maht-suh-REHL-lah) is a soft white cheese with a mild flavor typically made from cow’s milk. It came from southern Italy where it was originally made from water buffalo milk. If you are lucky enough to find real buffalo mozzarella in your local market, try it. Although expensive, it’s like eating ice cream compared to frozen yogurt.