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I love chicken parmesan but I never order the gooey, overly cheesy versions served at most restaurants since coming up with this version. My recipe uses all the typical components but instead of frying the breaded chicken breasts in oil, I crisp up the breadcrumbs by broiling the breaded chicken breasts for a few minutes, then topping with the sauce and the cheese and putting it back under the broiler. The result is a much lighter variation of the original with all of the crunch. I've grown to prefer the meaty almost bacon like flavor of smoked mozzarella in most situations that call for mozzarela since discovering a purveryor at my farmers market, but any kind of mozzarella will do, whether artisanal or pre-shredded from the bag.
Adapted from Rose Levey Berenbaum's recipe from the Washington Post, May 23, 2007. To up the fiber quotient I use more whole wheat flour plus Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain cereal and omit the optional seeds except the sesame seeds. Simple and delicious, especially if you have a stand mixer or food processor.
Most recipes for saltimbocca, whether chicken or veal, start with pounding the protein of choice to a certain thinness, and then folding over the flattened result. While pounding out meat can be a good release of tension, it's also a bit of a hassle, especially if you're like me and are somewhat paranoid about too much handling of raw meat and cleaning up afterward. In my method, I simply butterfly the chicken breast (i.e. cut it ALMOST completely in half but keeping it in one piece, then fold it open like a book). I also brown the chicken on top of the stove in an oven proof pan and then finish the chicken IN the oven. The chicken is almost guaranteed to come out moist, delicous, and fully cooked. Of course parmagiano reggiano is the usual cheese of choice, but I've found that smoked mozzarella is also a fine alternative.
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