Today I'm going to show you how I turn one of our favorite chicken dinners into a delicious hot appetizer. I promise, they'll be the first thing to disappear from your table.
Prepare crumb mixture by combining equal parts finely grated parmesan or romano cheese and Italian seasoned bread crumbs.
Mmm, mmm, mmm... it's going to taste so good.
Beat some eggs too. Just look at that amazing color. I love buying my eggs from a local farm.
Prepare the chicken by cutting boneless breast or tenders into bite-size pieces. Here's a tip - to keep your chicken tender, cut it across the grain.
Dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg.
Allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl.
Immediately place the egg-dipped chicken into the cheese and bread crumb mixture. Be sure the entire piece of chicken gets coated well.
Heat about 1/2-inch of olive oil in a skillet and fry the chicken pieces until deep golden brown, the turn and repeat on the other side. Mine took about 4 minutes per side.
Olive oil isn't really the best choice for frying things, but you can get away with it when shallow frying. The flavor of the oil will play a big role here so don't use light olive oil (it's too bland). And don't use a luxury olive oil (save that for drizzling). Choose a nice, fruity olive oil that falls somewhere in the middle (Kirkland, Bertolli, etc). After you cook a few batches of these appetizers, the oil will break down and darken considerably - allow it to cool completely and discard. It won't be a good candidate for saving to use another day.
I'm warning you - eat a few before you serve them or you might not get any!
Chicken Parmesan Bites
makes appetizers for 4
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut across the grain and into bite-size pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- 1 large lemon, sliced into wedges
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- several leaves of chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup your favorite tomato sauce (try my san marzano sauce recipe)
- In a shallow bowl, beat egg well.
- In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
- Dip chicken into beaten egg, followed by breadcrumb mixture.
- In a large skillet, heat oil until shimmering.
- Fry chicken in oil until golden brown on both sides; drain chicken on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.
- Place chicken pieces on a shallow pan and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella; heat under broiler just until cheese melts (keep a close eye on it).
- Remove from oven and place on serving platter.
- Sprinkle with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice and chopped fresh basil; serve with a side of your favorite tomato sauce (try my san marzano tomato sauce recipe).