It’s become a staple of pubs and bars the country over, and whether you call it a parma or a parmi there’s no doubt that it’s bloody delicious. And now you can make it at home. This Aussie chicken parmigiana recipe has it all, a crispy schnitzel, shaved ham, gooey mozzarella cheese and a rich tomato sauce, served with a sweetly dressed salad and of course: chips with chicken salt. If it seems a little intimidating looking at all the elements, you can make the tomato sauce and dressing in advance.
Use this recipe wisely. You have been warned.
Chicken Parmigiana (with Chips and Salad)
• 4 chicken breasts
• 1⁄2 a cup of plain flour
• 3 eggs (beaten)
• 100-125 g of bread crumbs
• 1⁄2 a cup of grapeseed oil
• 1⁄2 brown onion (diced)
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 800 g tinned tomatoes (2 x 400g tins)
• 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
• 2 tsp of tomato paste
• 1 sprig of basil
• Salt to taste
• 100 ml of olive oil
• 100 ml of white wine vinegar
• 1⁄2 tsp of Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tsp white sugar
• 1 Lebanese cucumber (cut into thick quarters)
• 150 g cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
• 1⁄2 red onion (thinly sliced)
• 2-3 handfuls of a mesclun mix
• 4-5 Royal Blue potatoes
• Grapeseed oil or other high smoke point oil (between 100 ml and 2L depending on the chosen
• Chicken salt
• 4 fried schnitzels (recipe below)
• Tomato sauce (recipe below)
• 4 slices of shaved leg ham
• 300 g freshly grated mozzarella cheese
• Parmesan cheese (about 10 g per parmigiana)
• Freshly sliced chives
• Place a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and your diced onion, fry until translucent.
• Add your minced garlic and stir continuously until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Repeat with your tomato paste.
• Add your tinned tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 minutes (the longer the better!)
• Remove the sauce from the heat and add your sprigs of fresh basil. At this stage, you can either leave the basil too steep for 20 minutes before discarding, or you can just proceed to the next step. Steeping will result in a more mellow basil flavour.
• If you’re after a smoother consistency, transfer the sauce to a heat safe blender bowl and blitz on medium speed until smooth (you can alternately use a stick blender).
• Taste and season with salt to your liking.
• Set aside until needed.
• Place a layer of plastic wrap on a chopping board, followed by a chicken breast and another layer of plastic wrap on top.
• Take out a few frustrations by pounding the breast with a mallet or heavy based fry pan until it is about 1.5cm thick. Repeat with the other chicken breasts.
• Set up a 3 stage breading station. On three plates from left to right set up your plain flour on the first plate, your beaten eggs on the second and your bread crumbs on the third.
• Firstly, place your beaten chicken breast into the flour and cover on all sides. Shake off any excess.
• Secondly, place the floured chicken breast into the beaten egg mixture. Cover on all sides.
• Lastly, place the chicken breast into the bread crumbs and gently press the breadcrumbs into the breast to cover all surfaces. Repeat for the other chicken breasts.
Note: This can get messy. Some people like to use the dry hand/wet hand method, in which one hand handles the chicken when in the flour and bread crumbs and the other hand when it’s in the egg mix.
• Once breaded, heat your neutral tasting olive in a large heavy based fry pan until shimmering.
• Shallow fry until golden brown on one side, flip and repeat on the other. This should take about 4 minutes per side but always keep a watchful eye on anything that is being shallow fried.
• Remove from the oil, and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Season both sides with salt.
• Keep warm and repeat for the other chicken breasts.
• To make your salad dressing: Combine your white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until the vinegar and oil have mixed and the salt and sugar have dissolved.
• Mix your chopped salad ingredients into a bowl, remix your salad dressing. Add about half of it to your salad and toss to combine. Taste, and add more if needed.
• Set aside covered in the fridge until needed.
If you’re fairly new to making chips, don’t worry. I’m going to give you two different methods so
you can choose the one that best matches your skill level.
• Start by peeling your potatoes and slicing them into evenly sized sticks. Cut them slightly
larger than you’d like them to be as they’ll shrink slightly while cooking.
Note: Deep frying in the home can be incredibly dangerous. Improper technique can lead to house fires and serious burns. If you’ve never deep fried anything before, I highly suggest using the much safer roasting method.
• Add the grapeseed oil to a fryer or heavy based Dutch oven until it reaches 3⁄4 of the height of the pot or fryer (about 2L).
• Heat to 190°C.
• In batches, add your sliced potatoes to the hot oil and use a spider to gently stir them and prevent them from sticking.
• Once golden brown, remove chips from the oil and into a medium sized bowl.
• Season with a few pinches of chicken salt, toss and set aside for serving.
• Preheat oven to 220°C.
• In a large bowl combine your sliced potatoes with 100ml of oil and a few pinches of chicken salt. Mix well.
• Transfer to a roasting tray and spread the potatoes out so they don’t stick together.
• Roast for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Giving the tray a good shake at the 20 minute mark.
• Remove from the oven and taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary.
• Set aside for serving.
Note: You can also use an air fryer for this, but you’ll only need about a tablespoon of oil.
Putting It All Together
• Preheat the grill/broiler on your oven. If you don’t have a grill/broiler setting, preheat your oven to 220°C.
• Top your chicken schnitzel with a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce, followed by a slice of ham and finished with a small mound of mozzarella cheese.
• Place on a baking paper lined oven tray and grill until the cheese has melted.
• Remove from the oven and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
• Plate up your pub-style parmi with freshly sliced chives (optional), chips and the dressed salad.
• Serve with your favourite choice of beer, cider or wine. You deserve it!
Recipe and photos by Kale Armstrong.