24 (Thu) February 2011
Chicken Parmigiana with Black Olives and Spaghetti
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Chicken Parmigiana (or Parmesan) is an American-Italian dish. A chicken breast, breaded in a mixture of egg, flour, and parmesan cheese, pan-fried in oil and butter, layered with tomato sauce and cheese (e.g., mozzarella), and baked.
Number One Fan LJY and I are launching a new project to synchronize our cooking efforts by making the same predetermined dish. We started with Chick Parm. Unfortunately, because she lives in Los Angeles, the extent of the shared experience will be limited to electronic correspondence and digital photos, for now.
My attempt at the dish was hit-and-miss. I tried a recipe from Cooking Light, an American magazine devoted to “healthy” cooking, so the reduction of salt and outright omission of butter left the dish far short of its full potential.
About her dish, LJY wrote: “Mine was provolone. Store-bought breadcrumbs and olive oil/garlic pasta sauce by Bertolli. I’d give mine 4 stars.”
From the photo, one obvious difference is that LJY placed the sauce on top of the cheese, whereas I had layered the sauce directly over the chicken and the cheese on top of the sauce. Now that I think about it, her method is superior in that it would provide the triple benefit of (i) allowing the chicken and cheese to merge into a cohesive unit, which would then (ii) protect the integrity of the crispy breading from the wet sauce and (iii) facilitate plating and presentation, particularly if the sauce were added after removing the chicken-cheese combo from the pan and placing it on the plate. By contrast, my method resulted in a soggy piece of chicken with the cheese sliding off and doing its own thing; the whole mess fell apart as I was scooping it out of the baking pan.
I hope this will become a regular feature on this blog, open to welcome participation any of my other readers.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)