BA's Best Chicken Parm


Buzz? Are you ready department up? I thought we were going to ring the Parnell arm with me. I I prefer to ring the palm alarm like when the chicken is done. Then that's like ringing the Dinner Bell. You know you ring the alarm everyone to the table but when you're partying it up that means you're gonNA make sure we don't have any chicken parm in the oven at the moment. So the alarm. It's going to get there soon. Okay so I have like. We've collaborated you've let me ride shotgun on several recipe developments. We did the brock. Bolo the Brockley as a we did the pork Mar Bay. We did Matzo ball soup. I kinda think this is the best one we've done. Well this one has also been a true co lab. I feel like we were both very in this the entire way and I think that's probably why it's the best for the listeners. Who Don't spend a Lotta time on BOND PETITE DOT COM? We have a feature called B. as best and we pick iconic dishes and the test kitchen editors really go deep on them and they leave no stone unturned try every iteration of something to achieve the platonic ideal of that dish. And I think what's so interesting? What chicken Parm is when people were coming into the kitchen for tastings? Everyone's got an opinion. Yeah also feel like for whatever reason. The world is having a chicken parm moment right now. Like people or chicken parm obsessed more than they've ever been in my lifetime so I think it felt like a particularly important dish to develop right now. Okay so talk to me about the developmental process because you went about it in a very methodical methodical I guess it's the word elected choose approached it developing this dish and so what was your strategy. So there's a lot going on and chicken parm and I think that the only the only viable option was to deconstruct it from the inside out and kind of go into into the center of the dish and evaluate every element of it. All the way out to till it's like last moments before it's on the table so we started with thinking about the chicken itself and whether that was going to be abreast or a thigh and then we started thinking about. How are we GONNA treat. That piece of chicken isn't getting married. Needed is getting season. What's happening to it? And then we moved a layer out to the breading which is obviously an important part of the chicken parm before it gets fried and then we moved on to a discussion about. What is the perfect chicken parm tomato sauce and obviously there are a lot of thoughts there and finally there was the cheese. Combo and so we just broke it out into those fundamental parts and we worked one at a time and built upon the last until we got to a place where we thought it was pretty frigging great. It is great. I will say that with full confidence or let's start with chicken As much as I love chicken thighs in general love boneless skinless chicken pies grilling bone in for like Pan Roasting. The chicken thighs did not get much of a welcome this recipe. No you did not give the chicken thighs a look. I looked at them and I love the. You didn't let me because nostalgic got the best of you which is understandable because this is undeniably nostalgic this recipe and so. I think you were right to decide that. Like a breasts felt more conic. But I will say that I do generally always prefer a chicken thigh when it's breaded and Fried Chicken Buzzer juicier. Their media. Again. They were nostalgic. I think carries a lot of weight with this recipe in particular. It's one of those this at everyone kind of comes to the table with some sort of notion of what it should taste like of dishes. They've had you know the little Italy or red sauce joins in America and those are always boneless chicken breasts so I think that was fair to start but I think what you did so successfully in the next step was I had not done successfully as a home cook. I made chicken. Parmesan was always like good but never great. You leaned in hard on the seasoning of the breast itself. Yeah so the the best thing you can do to a cut of meat like a chicken breast which has a tendency to dry out and is out the gates. Less flavorful than say dark meat is to introduce flavors and ingredients that will help to tenderizer got so. We tried a bunch of different marinades for everything from white wine to buttermilk to just salt and pepper and we ended up with a like fifteen. Twenty minute marinade in grated garlic. Lots of lemon juice in lots of olive oil as well as salt. Obviously so the salt is there to season and to allow it to have a little bit of time to actually penetrate through the breast and then the lemon juice was there to tender. Is it sort of like the way buttermilk act so the vinegar we tried? We also try to vinegar. Brine is a really like fast acting way to tender is a piece of meat like a chicken breast the graded garlic. I also love what you guys do this a lot in the test kitchen. You take a whole garlic and a micro plane in just great it back and forth and that sort of like Dr. The marinade instead of just having to cloves smashed that grading sort of coats each chicken breasts and really sort of penetrates flavor wise. And so that there's something just so at talion tasting like taste like Italy. The olive oil the lemon garlic and to your point it also tend. Rises was really cool. Yeah so we were off drug. Let's start with the tender tender chicken breast away. I'm sorry I'm going to rewind before he marigny talk about the chicken breast itself. The pounding in the butterfly and what that technique is like very important so we took chicken breasts and butterflied them and open them up like a book so that they ended up being like one large very flat chicken breast and then we also played around with all of the different widths so pounding it to an eighth of an inch a quarter of an inch a half an inch and taking that piece of chicken all the way through the recipe to see which fared best ultimately and. I think that we ended up with a half inch as the diameter as the thickness of the chicken breast which is a lot thicker than most chicken farms in the world. That you'll eat out in restaurants. I would say a couple of things. You did a good job teaching me on the video. Like the you've got the whole breast would suppress you know. It can be pretty big and on the curve side. That's when you sort of laterally cut into it with the chef's knife so you open it up and almost like shaped and then you put that between wax paper and if you have a tenderizer or you know if you ever wine bottle whatever you have to pounded thin and I think I a little bit thicker because it stays juicier and I tasted chicken more. Some people like at dinner. That's fine again. It is kind of up to you to decide how you like it so wrong wrong. It's reason this is the best. It's the best. It is best all right so we pounded it. We marinate it for twenty minutes. While we've got the chicken marinating. We set up our dredging station. So let's talk about that. So here's the things that we tested we did a classic dredge of just flour Egg Pinko. We did a classic flour egg bread crumb would did a flour egg mix of Pinko and bread crumb flour EG mix of blitzed Panko and on blitzed Pinko. Can I just interject there? Like just so the it was very hard to keep track of all these cutlets in one going to which one and again masking tape and sharpies everywhere at some point. My friend Nikki resources. We're going GONNA BE A. She was making chicken farm. And we love Panko breadcrumbs because those ice little Shahrzad get super crispy. But she was saying. Oh well sometimes when you do just Pinko you get some bald spots. Or it's not as densely packed so we were like well. What if you mixed Panko with traditional like Progresso breadcrumbs to sort of get some fine some shards or you said well what if he took Pinko and then blitz food processor and I think a lot of those things as best like you WanNa go enough steps that it is the best but at some point you're also like okay? This is crazy. I'VE GOTTA get out my food processor and blitz half Pinko and put them back with the other ones right like we still want this recipe to be cou- Qabail and makeable for home cooks. This isn't a restaurant dish. So those are all considerations that we take when we develop. Ba's best so it's sort of like the best given all circumstances but we also then tried a version where we went straight from the marinate Intertanko then into egg back into Pinko and that was actually a revelation because the crust was so thick and so- crispy but we found that by the time we got to dredging the fourth breast. There was a lot of like glue. Be Panko egg situation happening and it was just kind of a mass overall required a lot of care and it didn't feel necessarily foolproof again. Another restaurant

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