I feel like I've been breading chicken since the week Ryan and I got married. It's one of his favorites, and is often on the top of his request list for dinner. We have breaded/fried/baked chicken with Fettuccine Alfredo, in sandwiches, aside fresh steamed veggies, and with just about any other side dish I can think of right now.
I think we can both say that I've come a long way when it comes to breaded chicken. I used to omit key steps, and usually ended up with breading falling off the chicken by the time it 'graced' our plates. It was frustrating, and I didn't know what I was doing wrong! After a year or two of trial-and-error, I then realized not only how to get the breading to coat the chicken, and stay on the chicken, but to also achieve the perfect crunchy texture on the outside (without too much grease along the way) and the deliciously moist and juicy meat on the inside. It's fool-proof, has worked 100% of the time for me, and I'm stickin' to it.
You see... here are some things I've learned:
- coat the raw chicken in flour before dipping it in the egg bath.
- the breading layer (last layer) works best with both Panko bread crumbs and Italian bread crumbs. It provides such wonderful texture, and the balance of big and little crumbs for coating covers more ground... er... chicken.
- Adding Parmesan is a good move as well - shredded or the powder stuff (I usually stick with shredded.)
- and adding milk to the egg-mixture is no good.
- keep one hand for dry ingredients, and one hand for wet ingredients - makes for less of a mess while coating the chicken.
Keeping these little tips in mind while breading my chicken has worked wonders!
I pulled up Martha's recipe on my laptop in the kitchen, and ended up only peeking at it once while preparing the chicken yesterday for Sunday dinner. I used my own sure-fire recipe for the breading. It was very simple, and yielded the perfect dish of crunchy, gooey, bubbly chicken parmigiana. This goes really well with a fresh bed of pasta, or even a crisp side salad. Ryan said it was 'husband approved' halfway through the first bite.
2 large thawed chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced horizontally
2 eggs, whisked
25 oz jar of your favorite marinara/pasta sauce, or homemade
thick mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 C Parmesan, shredded
1/2 C italian bread crumbs
1/2 C Panko bread crumbs
1 C flour
1/2 C EVOO
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare 3 separate bowls for the breading:
- The first bowl should have the flour.
- The second bowl should have the whisked eggs.
- In the third bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, and Panko.
3. Heat EVOO in large pan over medium-high heat.
4. When oil is warmed, with your clean hands (easiest) coat your chicken:
- Coat chicken first in flour bowl until completely covered.
- Then throw floured chicken in egg bowl until completely covered, and none of the dry flour is showing through.
- Then coat your chicken in bread crumb mixture until completely covered.
- Gently lay chicken in warm oil, and quickly repeat with the other chicken breast slices.
5. Cook until chicken is browned, about 3-5 minutes on each side.
6. While chicken is browning, pour marinara/pasta sauce into a large casserole dish (to be the bed for the chicken). Salt and pepper each side.
7. Remove the chicken from the pan, and lay in the baking dish right in the pasta sauce.
8. Top each chicken slice with a mozzarella slice.
9. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165-170 degrees with a meat thermometer.
10. Turn broiler on high, and broil until cheese begins to show some color. Remove from oven.
Recipe slightly based on MarthaStewart.com