This recipe works for chicken parmesan, beef parmesan or veal parmesan. If you want to make beef or veal parmesan, buy good quality beef or veal cutlets and omit the sage. (Good veal should be pink, not brown or gray.)
My mother often made the beef cutlets and this is her recipe. Every time she made it she’d forget if the cheese came first or the sauce when layering the dish and she’d say, “I forget, do I put the cheese on first or the sauce?” I’d answer, “The cheese. It’s just the opposite of making pizza.”
- Tomato Sauce (click here to get recipe)
- Boneless chicken breasts, or chicken cutlets (6-10)
- Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated. (About a cup)
- Mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
- Sage (enough to sprinkle over the chicken as it cooks)
- Breadcrumbs (about 8 oz.)
- Large eggs (2-4)
- Milk (one splash per egg)
- Crisco shortening
Preparing the Chicken:
If you buy chicken breasts, you have to beat them to make them thin. If you buy cutlets, you don’t have to do this. Separate the breasts and pound them flat on both sides. You can do this by putting a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over the breasts and hitting them a few times with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
Breading the chicken: Scramble a few eggs with a few splashes of milk in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Spread breadcrumbs on a large dinner plate or platter. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then dredge through the breadcrumbs until covered.
Fry the chicken in batches in a little olive oil with garlic on medium heat. You can also add a thin slice of butter to the pan for flavor, but be careful it doesn’t burn. Sprinkle with a little sage and cook on both sides until done. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the grease. (If the pan gets dirty or burns from leftover breadcrumbs, wipe it clean with a paper towel and add fresh oil).
Lightly grease a roasting pan with the Crisco shortening. Lay down one layer of chicken. Put thin slices of mozzarella over each chicken piece. Cover with sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan or Romano cheese over chicken. And repeat with each layer, ending with a layer of sauce and grated cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about half an hour to one hour, until cheese melts. Serve hot. You can serve this with rice. If you like mix a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce into the rice. Or with mashed potatoes, green beans, whatever you like.
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