Welcome Summer 2022!
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I wanted to share with you the special dinner I made Bob for Father’s Day this past weekend.
I hope all the dads, grandpa’s, godfathers, dad’s to be and pet dads had a wonderful day!
I knew restaurants would be crowded for Father’s Day and we would be staying home, so I was thinking about a meal that I could make for Bob that would be a surprise. Something I could make at home that wasn’t on the usual dinner rotation, and then the lightbulb went off.
A few years ago, before my heart transplant and Covid arrived, Bob and I spent many days and nights in NYC visiting restaurants, museums, Broadway plays, and yes, even tourist sights. We love NYC.
One afternoon we stopped in a restaurant near Chelsea Market that was a real old-fashioned Mom and Pop red sauce Italian restaurant (sorry I can’t remember the name) and we ordered their special of the day which was chicken parmigiana but in the style of a pizza. Ground chicken with mozzarella, red sauce, and basil- plain, simple and delicious.
Recently, I have asked around on Facebook and with friends to see if anyone knew of a restaurant closer to my home that made this dish and no one could give me an answer. So, I decided for this Father’s Day I would try and make it myself.
So I did a little research on the best way to fry the chicken in a disc and gathered my ingredients and put it all together. Bob was quite surprised and enjoyed the chicken parmigiana “pizza” style as we remembered the little restaurant where we first tasted it.
It came out great but the only thing I would change next time is the size of the pizza. I only had an 8″ cake pan and a 10″ high-sided skillet and the chicken crust came out a little thicker than I would have liked so I would prepare this again using a 10″ cake pan and fry it in a 12″ high-sided skillet next time. But we were very happy with the results and I wanted to share this recipe with you…..
Chicken Parmigiana – “Pizza Style”
1 lb. of ground chicken
3-4 cups of Breadcrumbs (I made my own from Italian bread and seasoned them myself) but you could use packaged Italian seasoned breadcrumbs or panko or a combination of both breadcrumbs styles- your choice. —– Season the breadcrumbs with dried parsley and some grated cheese for extra flavor.
6 large eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups flour, seasoned
Shredded mozzarella cheese or thin-sliced mozzarella
Additional grated cheese for serving- I use Locatelli cheese
1 cup red sauce – I used homemade sauce but you could use jarred sauce or canned pizza sauce.
6 leaves of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp oregano
3 cups peanut oil (I use that to fry) but you could use canola or a light olive oil
COOKS NOTE: any leftover eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs can be combined and fried. My grandmother called these “egg cutlets” and they are crispy and delicious. Give them a try…
I prefer a 10” round cake pan (I used an 8 ” cake pan for this pizza)
12” deep-sided round skillet or saute pan
2 large metal spatulas
3 aluminum half-size steam table trays (for easy clean-up for the breading station).
Pizza stone or cookie sheet
Let’s get ready to prep… this meal takes two days
In a bowl, season your ground chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and poultry seasoning
Make the crust– use a cake pan lined with plastic wrap and add the seasoned ground chicken. Mold the chicken into a thin circular disc. Then wrap in the plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.
The next day, prepare your breading station. I used 3 aluminum half-size trays for flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs
Take the chicken out of the freezer and do not thaw
(Food saver gloves can come in handy now)
Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour until fully coated then shake off the excess.
Next drop the chicken disc into the eggs, coat fully, and shake off excess
Then into the breadcrumbs. Pat the breadcrumbs into the chicken but be gentle not to break the chicken disc. Fill all the areas on both sides until there is no more egg or chicken visible. The disc has to be fully coated in breadcrumbs.
Then wrap the disc and put it back in the freezer for another hour to firm up.
Once the hour is over, remove the chicken from the freezer and work quickly before it starts to thaw.
Heat the oil on medium in a high-sided skillet or sauté pan (approx. 1 inch of oil in the pan). When the oil is hot ADD the frozen chicken disc, it should sizzle immediately.
COOKS NOTE: you can tell when the oil is hot enough by placing a wooden spoon in the oil- when bubbles appear, the oil is hot enough to fry…
When the edges of the chicken start to look golden, with the two metal spatulas, gently lift the chicken from the skillet onto a plate. Place another plate over it and gently flip the chicken.
Now gently slide the chicken back into the oil and fry the 2nd side until fully brown.
Remove the chicken and let it dry on a wire rack.
At this point, preheat the broiler to high
Place the chicken on a pizza stone or cookie sheet pan and assemble the chicken like a pizza……. Add sauce, then grated cheese, and then shredded mozzarella.
Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Garnish with fresh torn basil.
Cut and serve as a pizza. Side dishes to complement the pizza can be salad or sauteed broccoli rabe. Enjoy!
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy every bite!
To finish our Father’s Day celebration, I bought Bob a chocolate mousse cheesecake with a thick ganache topping to complete the celebration.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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