November 9, 2014
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard 2012 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Best Chicken Parmesan from Cook's Illustrated, March 2013
I have eaten chicken Parmesan in restaurants where I enjoyed the crispy coating and juicy chicken, but I have never made it at home. Cook's Illustrated published a recipe in their magazine over a year ago and I finally got around to trying it out. I shouldn't have waited so long.
The meal took only 60-90 minutes to prepare. A simple tomato sauce is made with canned crushed tomatoes as the main ingredient. Making your own sauce this way is easy and produces a much fresher tasting sauce than you get buying a jarred sauce. The recipe made enough sauce for two meals of chicken parmesan plus another as a spaghetti topping
The most expensive ingredients were the three cheeses: mozzarella, fontina, and Parmesan. I bought blocks of all three rather than pre-shredded cheese, and grated them myself: the fontina and mozzarella on a box grater and the Parmesan with a microplane. The leftover cheese did not go to waste. Diane had the mozzarella and fontina in her lunch at work and the Parmesan has been used in several dinners.
We both enjoyed this meal and it is worth having again. It was a little salty but we were unable to identify the source of the salt. The sauce wasn't salty so maybe it was the cheese or the brine? As a leftover ,the chicken was just reheated in the microwave. It wasn't as good as the original as the coating was not as crisp, but it was still good.
Cook's Illustrated has some quicker recipes for chicken Parmesan (such as this streamlined thirty-minute version) that might be worth trying and it's usually worth looking at Food Wishes, too.