Inside My Restaurant Kitchen with Chicken Parmesan & Chicken Neapolitan

When I worked as a Restaurant Chef  one of the easiest and most popular dishes we served Chicken Parm, and believe me I understand why.  Not only is it always more priced more reasonably but it should be a safe bet.   Even now when we go out to a new restaurant and I’m just not impressed with the menu, or if I really want to see how much effort they put into the food they serve I order Chicken Parm.  I know what you’re thinking, why would I order something as simple as Chicken Parm?  Well, it’s really pretty simple, if they can’t get chicken parm right, they’re not going to a more complicated, more expensive meal right.

1.  Chicken Parm should be tender enough to cut with your fork, but not pounded so thin that it becomes tough.

2.  Chicken Parm should have enough sauce on it, to get some with almost every bite, that also means sauce should go under it!

3.  Chicken Parm should have enough cheese on it to cover 90% of the breast, comon’ man that’s why we order chicken parm for that ooey gooey melted mozzarella!

But what I’ve seen and what I’ve been served has been far from that, and it’s a shame, because if you don’t care enough to get this simple delicious meal right, you’re certainly not going to care enough to get a more complex dish right.   (and if the chicken parm isn’t good, you can bet they buy their desserts, not make them)

It never ceases to amaze me when I see restaurants full with people eating such poor quality food, it’s time like those I want to go back in the restaurant business, but then I do a shot and Lisa slaps me…….sigh   I remember one restaurant we went into, and I hoped the Chef was off, friends raved about this Italian restaurant, but what I got were two pieces of chicken (probably frozen store bought) with a little sauce and a little cheese.   The sauce tasted like someone had opened a can of crushed tomatoes and heated it, not one piece of basil did I see?  We actually went back again thinking it was a bad night, it wasn’t…lol, and the place was packed again!

This is why I decided to do a post on Chicken Parmesan and one of my other favorites, Chicken Neapolitan.  One of the keys to running a successful restaurant was always finding other things to do with the same products, because using one product, such as a breaded chicken breast for more than one entree, ensured you would use it more quickly.  But the most important factor is they have to be good!

I have been buying Organic Chicken Breasts at Sam’s club lately, they run about half the price of the area supermarkets and are in club packs.  This a good thing, because not only does it save me money but it makes me prep enough chicken so I have it ready in the freezer for the next 2 months.   I do recommend buying Organic, and free range when ever possible,  you just don’t want to know the things they do to regular chicken, I know price is a consideration, and if your’e feeding a family you have to do what you can to save, just keep it in mind.

When you do open the pack of chicken the first thing you need to do is rinse it off, then lay it on paper towels to dry a bit, then trim off any excess fat, or if they breasts are too big, cut them down.  The best way to do that is to cut through the meat, long ways through the entire breast, or butterflying the piece that is too thick.   Then place one or two breasts in a large ziplock bag and using the flat side of the meat hammer pound out the breast driving the hammer out as you pound not just straight down. (you don’t want to tear the breast by pounding too hard, you want it to spread out) .  Repeat this process until they’re all prepped.

Now just set up your breading station:  1) Flour seasoned with salt and pepper  2) egg beaten with milk or water added to double the mixture  3) seasoned breadcrumbs (I use store bought but feel free to make your own, by adding in basil, pepper, grated cheese, parsley and any other spices you may like,  just don’t overdo the oregano if you use it)

Then we simply coat each breast in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs and repeat the process until they are all breaded, the hard part is done!  Now all you have to do is  saute them until golden brown, drain them on paper towels, and then place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they freeze solid and then place them in a zip-lock freezer bag until you need them.   Now you have a quick and easy dinner ready in your freezer for those nights you just don’t have time to cook!

If you like cheese than Chicken Neapolitan is for you!  It’s uses four cheeses and is simply delicious.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Chicken Neapolitan
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • ½ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten mixed with ½ milk
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 oz grated romano cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl mix the ricotta, beaten egg, romano cheese, mozzarella, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well
  3. pound chicken breast out to make slightly thinner (about ½ inch)
  4. coat in seasoned flour, then dip in eggwash and coat in seasoned bread crumbs
  5. in a large saute pan heat olive oil until hot enough to fry the breasts
  6. place breasts in hot oil and saute on each side until golden brown.
  7. place on paper towels to drain
  8. place a little marinara in a baking dish, then the sauteed chicken breasts, now add a little more sauce on top of the chicken.
  9. spread a nice layer of the ricotta mixture on each chicken breast.
  10. Top each breast with two pieces of provolone covering the entire breast.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly.
  12. Serve with a side of your favorite pasta and a little more marinara over the chicken neo.

 

If that’s too much cheese for you, and you want to just do Chicken Parmesan, I’ll tell you the secret I learned many years ago from Mama Jeanette. when you set up your chicken parm make sure you sauce  under it but before you sauce over top of the breast, place a thin slice of prosciutto over the chicken, then sauce and then your mozzarella.  No one will even know the prosciutto is there but they’ll notice the extra flavor!   Follow this link for my Marinara Sauce Recipe.

Before I say goodbye I would like to mention that you can find me in a few new places this week!  I have been selected by the Mid Atlantic Dairy Association as one of their chefs and you can find me and some of my recipes at The DairySpot.   

I would also like to announce my affiliation with The Spattered Page, it’s the perfect spot to store all of those great recipes you’ve been accumulating over the years.  No more piles of torn magazines pages, or tattered notes, just place them all in your account (no one else can see them) and pull them up when ever you need to plan a meal  or party, they can even help with grocery lists!  But the best part about it is it’s free to try for the first month, you don’t even have to leave a credit card, it’s just that simple!

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope everyone’s Monday is a good one!  See you all real soon!

Comments

  1. Happy Monday! I normally get veal parm as a treat at Italian restaurants but chicken parm is always a close second. The musts you listed above are exactly right. Hopefully the sauce has killer flavor as well.

  2. This looks scrumptious Dennis. I never order this kind of thing but think I’ll start. Or just pop by and you can make it for me while me and Lisa do shots. *giggles*

  3. absolutely five stars! this looks and sounds so good right now, and I love your ‘rules’ – every restaurant serving chicken parm needs to follow them!

  4. very nice..I simply love Chicken parmesan and the chicken neapolitan recipe is definitely a keeper- nope not too much cheese- those four cheeses in this dish- too good to pass up :)

  5. I always feel the same way about soups in restaurants.. If they cannot get the soup or basic dishes like this right you have no hope.. I love chicken parmesan

  6. Love your tip of freezing the cutlets so you can pull them out whenever you need a quick dinner.

  7. Dennis I especially love these posts where we get a little lesson in the process! I found myself just staring at the close up photo and thinking how perfectly cooked and light the coated looked to be. Love these posts! Congrats on the dairy postings as well! Will look forward to checking those out!

  8. Good morning Dennis. Simple and classic is always a great choice and this looks delicious. Congratulations on the Dairy Spot and thank you for the tip on the Splattered Page. Have a great week.

  9. You have no idea just how much I love these tips. I didn’t realize I could bread and cook the chicken prior to freezing it. I assumed the taste and texture would be dramatically affected. How do you reheat? Thaw first? From frozen? In the oven? Microwave? Skillet? I am going to do this ASAP! What a great idea. Thanks again, Chef Dennis!

  10. Nancy Brown says:

    Wonderful recipe! I am looking forward to making this!

  11. this chicken dish looks wonderful I haven’t made chicken like this

  12. Hi Chef Dennis,
    Funny, I made chicken parm tonight! I usually don’t bread mine, I brown it and let it simmer in the sauce a bit. I like the fact that you have a go to meal, mine is crabcakes. if they can make good crabcakes, I’ll be back to try something else! Congrats on the Dairy Spot! Cindy

  13. This two-for-one recipe post is a keeper — so is your Marinara Sauce (and bonus Sangria) link! Thanks for all and congrats on making your mark in foodie world! Well deserved.

  14. mmm, this is just beautiful. mouthwatering, really. and you are so right, it’s so weird how people will scarf down bad food! i think they are just used to it, they expect it, and they don’t have enough experience to know good from bad. luckily there are recipes like this out there to teach them.

  15. Chicken Parm ios such a great recipe and done well, there is nothing bettre, this looks wonderful! anne

  16. My husband’s favorite food and I’ve never been thrilled with my mastery….. wish me luck with yours :)

  17. Wow this looks delicious! Makes me want some right now :)

    Since I’ve always loved your recipes and think you have a great blog, I am passing along the Versatile Blogger Award to you! Please come by my blog and check out your award! http://www.lifeasibakeit.com/2012/04/versatile-blogger-award.html

  18. This looks fabulous, Chef! I really love the idea of the hidden prosciutto!

  19. I can totally see why is this so popular…looks absolutely amazing!

  20. I don’t think I have ever ordered chicken parm in a restaurant, but you are 100% right – it should be a meal any decent place can serve to perfection. I find myself avoiding chicken when we go out because it is often dry and tough – and sadly, often flavorless. This chicken neapolitan looks wonderful and I wish I could order a portion from you right now.

  21. Great post! We do chicken parm quite a bit and you taught me a few new things – thank you:-). I have been to restaurants where I knew they didn’t bread their chicken at the restaurant and it was very disappointing. On the flip side, when I have been in restaurants where they got the breading piece of the chicken just right and it’s one of my favorite dishes. I also love the Neopolitan recipe and your tip on adding the proscuitto.

  22. This looks absolutely delicious!

  23. LAUREN DILLON says:

    I FORGOT TO ASK YOU IF YOU HAD A RECIPE FOR A LEMON OR RASPBERRY MOUSSE . I HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT LOTS OF RECIPES , BUT I AM KINDA INTERESTED IN THE WAY YOU WOULD MAKE IT YOURSELF. I AM CRAZY ABOUT RASPBERRIES. I BET YOU COULD WHIP UP A REALLY GREAT MOUSSE WITH SOME . OR A RASPBERRY SORBET MAYBE ?

    • I do have some very good Gelato recipes Lauren, but at this time no other Mousse recipes, and while you can use the sabayon to make a raspberry mousse, you would also need to add gelatin to the mix to keep it thick

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Read the rest here: Chicken Parmesan & Chicken Neapolitan Inside my Restaurant … [...]

Speak Your Mind

*

Rate this recipe: