Australian recipe: Chicken parma
I am very, very well aware that Chicken parmigiana (or Chicken Parma in Australia) isn’t strictly an Australian dish. It originates from Italy and North America. Both Argentina and England also have a version. However, it’s so popular and almost an institution in Australia. Every pub will have their version and it has been very popular for decades.
I remember in university days, going to our local pub on Tuesdays, for “Parma and a Pot” night (Chicken parmigiana and a pot of beer – around half a pint). There are some crazy additions back home, such as mushrooms and a fried egg, but I like mine with the tomato sauce, ham and cheese.
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 1/2 cup flour
- pinch salt
- 1 egg (with a dash of milk)
- 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 250 gr passata
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2-4 slices ham
- 4-8 slices of cheese (mozzarella or any cheese that melts well)
- salt and pepper
First make the tomato sauce. In a frying pan or small saucepan add the passata, oregano and salt and pepper. Simmer for around 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and has thickened.
Next prepare the chicken. The chicken breasts need to be flattened. I do this by placing them on a chopping board, covering in cling film and then hitting them with a rolling-pin. The chicken breasts should double in size.
Then on 3 separate plates, add flour and a pinch of salt on one, a beaten egg and milk on another and then the fine breadcrumbs on the 3rd. Dip each of the chicken breasts on each – cover in flour, then cover with the egg mixture and finally cover with breadcrumbs.
Heat the oven to 180 C (350 F)
In a large frying pan, add a good amount of oil. Heat over a medium heat and add the chicken fillets. Depending on the size of the pan and your fillets, you may need to cook one at a time. Cook until both sides are lovely and golden brown.
Once both chicken fillets are cooked, place on a large oven tray. Cover the top with the tomato sauce you prepared earlier, one layer of ham and then finally one layer of cheese. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted nicely.
Two chicken parma’s ready to serve with chips, salad and a beer. Enjoy!