Growing up, I think my family used the wrong names for a lot of things. I grew up calling those warm fuzzy things you wear around the house “house shoes” only to go to college and get stared at blankly by my roommates because apparently everyone else in the world refers to them as “slippers.” I think the same goes for “house coat” or as you probably call it a “robe.”
My mom also really likes to sing, but, like me, is really bad at it. So I grew up listening to her sing popular songs (a perennial favorite being: “STOP. In the name of love. Before you breaaaaak my heaaaaart”), only to later hear the actual version and find out that her version sounds absolutely nothing like the real one.
And when you order Chicken Parmesan at a restaurant, you get way more than when you eat my mom’s version. Pasta? Tomato sauce? Psh. So I apologize now if you saw that title and were hoping for the common Italian menu staple. I mean, feel free to make this, and then toss it onto some pasta and tomato sauce., if that’s what floats your boat.
But in our household, we just ate the chicken part of the equation, usually with rice, and some sort of veggie, and that’s how I like it. I think some sauteed zucchini sprinkled with some extra parmesan would be just peachy with this. Since I’m training for an 8k, and I now use that as an excuse to eat whatever I want (I think I might be doing this wrong…), I made up some of my mom’s delicious buttermilk biscuits.
This chicken comes together really quickly. Just set up your assembly line, with three bowls for the flour, egg, and breading. You can buy chicken tenders or if your tiny grocery store doesn’t have them, whole chicken breasts and slice them into tender-sized strips yourself.
Then just dip in the flour.
Then coat in the egg.
Then into the breading.
Then just into the skillet, and 10 minutes later you are eating a delicious Midwestern version of Chicken Parmesan.
Chicken Parmesan (Sort of)
4 Chicken tenders or 1 chicken breast sliced into tender-size pieces
½ cup flour
1 egg plus 3 or 4 tbsp water
¾ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Put egg in one bowl and add a little water to thin. Whip together.
Put flour in another bowl.
Mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a third bowl.
Roll chicken in flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture. Then roll in parmesan/bread mixture, coating thoroughly.
Coat a non-stick pan with olive oil (use a brush or a paper towel to wipe the pan so it is just coated with no oil pooling) and heat over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Put the coated chicken into the pan and turn the flame to medium. Let the chicken brown on one side, without moving for 5 minutes. If it is browning too fast or dark, turn the flame down to medium-low. Turn the chicken over and brown the second side for another 5 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut into a piece of chicken to check for doneness – there should be no pink. It may require an additional few minutes per side.