Chicken Parma recipe

Get in the know on this Italian-Australian staple

Isn’t chicken parma Italian? is probably what you’re thinking right now—and, well, you’re partially right. The traditional Italian parmigiana is in fact made from baked aubergines but it got a meaty makeover in Australia, with chips and salad thrown in for good measure.

Affectionately called a “parmy” by Aussies, you’ll be hard pushed to go into any pub or bistro in Australia and not find a parma on the menu. Hearty, quick and simple to cook, it makes for a perfect family dinner dish or accompaniment to a couple of pints with friends in the garden.

Serves 2

Cooking time: 45 mins

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 125ml white wine
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • small bunch fresh basil
  • 125g fresh mozzarella, torn
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • black pepper

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180° C. Halve the chicken breasts horizontally so you have 4 evenly thick pieces. Season to taste with salt, pepper and oregano.

2. Spread the flour over a plate, pour the egg into a shallow bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and spread over a second plate. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, toss the chicken in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, then press in the breadcrumb mixture so that both sides are well coated. Repeat with all remaining pieces.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes on each side, and remove.

4. For the sauce, heat the oil in the same frying pan that you used for the chicken. Cook the garlic until fragrant. Pour in the passata and white wine, then stir through the oregano, salt and sugar. Season with black pepper, then bring to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the basil.

5. To assemble the dish, spread 4 tablespoons of the sauce over the base of a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Place the chicken on top, pour over the remaining tomato sauce, leaving some crumbed edges visible and top each breast with mozzarella and Parmesan. Drizzle over a little more olive oil, then bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

6. Divide the chicken between 4 warmed plates, sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves and serve with a simple green salad and chunky chips.

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