Chicken parm has been a favorite I-can't-wait-to-have-it dinner since I was a kid. There's always ways to change it up a bit, and that's what we have here.
Panko-breaded chicken breast, fried in grapeseed oil, finished under the broiler with mozzarella. No sauce under the cheese in this version. Instead, we went with vinegar-marinated tomatoes as a base along with linguini and basil red sauce.
Let's get to it, yeah?
We start with only the freshest ingredients, carefully curated by Leela Storm🐶.
Ok, that's not quite true, but these tomatoes looked bad-ass at our last trip to the grocery!
Marinate them with a tablespoon or two of red vinegar along with a good dose of black pepper and some salt. These guys stayed on the plate for probably half-an-hour.
While the tomatoes are marinating, cook down some fresh tomatoes - or use a can of unsalted sauce, adding basil and seasoning to your taste - until thickened.
If you're feelin' frisky, brine the chicken for 30 minutes or so.
I used my filet knife to slice a nice breast in half. You can tell I wasn't very accurate - it doesn't matter. The order of operations for dredging is:
- 2nd Bowl: coat with flour (I used bread flour because it was easiest to reach in the pantry)
- 1st Bowl: coat with egg (1-2 beaten eggs depending on how much chicken you're making)
- 3rd Bowl: finally, coat well with panko - screw breadcrumbs! - panko is the way to crispy satisfaction - it's pankovidelicious (all rights reserved)!
Get lots of panko on those thangs. Bread them just before the pan is ready for frying.
Use one to two tablespoons of grapeseed oil and wait until it shimmers before added the chicken into the pan, else it won't be crispy-delicous.
Look at that nice "golden brown" panko. These cooked for about 2.5 minutes per side.
Getting it All Together
Alright, there's a couple guidelines to point out:
- While the tomatoes are marinating, reduce ⅔ cup of balsamic vinegar by ½, and set aside
- Have a pot of salted water ready for boiling pasta - about 10 minutes ahead of plate completion for dried pasta, 3 minutes for freshly made pasta (I used store-bought this time)
- While cooking the chicken, add a few cloves of chopped garlic into the balsamic and cook to infuse
- Reserve a small amount for drizzling over the completed dish
- When the chicken is done frying, add the rest of the balsamic garlic mixture into a pan
- Mix the red sauce with the pasta and let sit a few minutes before plating so the noodles absorb some sauce
- Add chicken, top with lots of mozzarella, and put under broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted
Toss as many tomato slices as your heart desires onto the plate. They will be the base of the dish.
There you have it. Place chicken on top of the tomatoes. Twirl the pasta with a carving fork to meet Leela's standards. Drizzle some evoo and balsamic reduction, top with a fancy basil leaf grouping and eat up.
🐶 Leela Storm's Suggested Pairings
- 🎵 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - You Tell Me
- 🍷 Stags Leap Wine Cellars Artemis - Cabernet Sauvignon
🍽 Kitchen Critique
Easy dish. Easy to change up in any way you want. Not much to say except I could eat this once a week easily. I'm a sucker for this type of dish.
- Brining is easy - so do it and don't complain about the extra effort
- Vinegar, black pepper tomatoes are amazing on their own and really compliment the red sauce