Chicken Parmesan (Grain-Free)
We love this recipe from one of our favorite resources for recipes, The Domestic Man. Russ Crandall, of The Domestic Man, talks a lot about healthy starches and utilizes them into everyday recipes we can easily enough make at home.
We used Ancestral Taro Powder for the 1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch.
Originally posted on TheDomesticMan
Parmigiana is a method of Italian cooking wherein breaded, fried cutlets are layered in cheese and tomato sauce. Originally made with eggplant (Melanzane alla Parmigiana), breaded chicken and veal cutlets are popular as well.
Chicken Parmesan (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)
Time: 45 minutes
25.5 oz jar pasta sauce
4 chicken breasts
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch (or try Ancestral Taro Powder)
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil (dried parsley okay)
1/4 cup lard, ghee, or coconut oil
8oz mozzarella cheese, grated (omit to make dairy-free, see notes below)
1. Empty the pasta sauce into a saucepan and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low to keep warm while you prepare the chicken.
2. Place the chicken flat on a cutting board, then slice the chicken lengthwise to make two thin butterflied cutlets. Gently pound with a meat tenderizer to an even thickness, about 1/2″, then set aside. Prepare three wide, shallow bowls to bread the cutlets. In the first bowl, combine the dusting ingredients. In the second bowl, add the beaten eggs. In the third bowl, add the breading ingredients.
3. Now you’re ready to start cooking. Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large skillet, warm the lard, ghee, or oil over medium/high heat (you’re looking for an oil temp of 325F). Once the oil is warm, dust a chicken breast in the first bowl, then transfer to the second bowl and cover in egg, shake off any excess egg, then cover with the starch in the third bowl. Add to the skillet and repeat for however many breasts you can fit in the skillet at one time (don’t bread the chicken until right before you’re going to add it to the oil).
4. Pan-fry the chicken until golden brown, about three minutes per side, then transfer to a baking sheet. Don’t worry about whether the chicken it cooked through; the oven will finish it off. Add more oil if needed and repeat step #3 until all of the chicken has been pan-fried.
5. Spoon the pasta sauce over the cutlets, then sprinkle on the cheese. Place in the oven to bake until the cheese has melted, about 8 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is spotty and golden (watch it like a hawk at this point). Remove from the oven and serve.
** It is possible to bake these instead of frying them. To do so, line a baking sheet with a wire rack; bread all of the breasts at once using the process in step #3, then place on the wire rack. Bake at 400F until golden, about 15-20 minutes, flipping at the 10-minute mark. Remove the wire rack, add the sauce and cheese and bake until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is spotty and golden.
** While fresh mozzarella cheese is typically used in this dish, substituting a harder cheese may be easier on your digestion (aged cheese has been fermented longer).
** I’ve heard good things about this nut milk cheese, if you’re looking to go dairy-free but still want a cheese-like experience.
Adding potato starch to the breading makes it the chicken especially crispy, but sometimes leaves a light white dust on the breading after you fry it; you can see the same thing on my Southern Fried Chicken recipe from a few years back. Not really sure what causes it, but it’s mighty tasty.
The way I decide how much cheese to put on Chicken Parmesan is what I call the “melt-test”. I add some cheese over the warm sauce and watch to see if it starts to melt. If so, I add more until the cheese keep its shape. I use this same idea when making pizza. There isn’t really any science behind it, just a trick I developed when I worked at a pizza parlor nearly 20 years ago. Man, I’m getting old!