Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Asian Flavor
(Quick and Easy Recipe with an Asian flavor)
Parmesan crusted chicken is not only easy to prepare but is the most savory way to dress up chicken breasts or thigh fillet for a quick meal. I have tested a number of ways and finally settled with one unique version which is rather different from the traditional Parmesan Crusted Chicken.
So if you are bored with the normal way you prepare Parmesan Crusted Chicken, try this recipe and you will be pleasantly surprised by its unique flavor.
I have tweaked the seasoning and the method of preparation:
- I include Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce in the recipe. Although these are unconventional ingredients for this recipe, it wa really delicious with an oriental touch.
- I pan-fried the chicken and finished cooking it in the oven.
Most people want to take a look at the Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe first, so here is the recipe. BUT please read the step-by-step explanation for preparing the Parmesan Crusted Chicken that follows.
The Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe
Ingredients for Parmesan Crusted Chicken:
750g Three deboned chicken thigh (or chicken breast if you prefer)
All purpose flour
Mixture of crumbs:
- 45g Breadcrumbs
- 45g grated Parmesan cheese
- A dash of black pepper
Method to make Parmesan Crusted Chicken:
- Flatten the deboned chicken thigh to about 1/4 inch thick with a meat pounder.
- Marinate the chicken with the marinade (a) for about two hours.
- Set up the breading station. One for the flour, followed by egg wash and finished with the crumbs mixture.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess flour until only a thin coating of flour remains on the surface of the chicken meat.
- Dip the chicken meat into the egg wash and coat it evenly. Drip away the excess egg wash.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese and black pepper. Dredge the piece of chicken in the crumbs mixture, Make sure the surface of the chicken is completely covered by the crumbs mixture.
- Heat up some olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken on the pan and brown each side until it becomes golden brown.
- Place it in the oven at 355°F/180°C for five minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175°F/80°C.
- Remove from the oven. Serve with a dash of lemon juice (optional) and stir-fry vegetables.
How To Prepare The Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Step 1- Use Deboned Chicken Thigh Fillet
I use chicken thigh fillet for a reason, although most of the Parmesan crusted chicken recipe use chicken breast. This is because chicken thigh fillet has excellent flavor and texture.
Chicken thigh has more fat and collagen than breast meat, which allows it to take a higher temperature without drying out. In addition, chicken thigh contains more flavour than the breast due to its higher fat content.
Chicken thigh fillet will be fully cooked at 175°F/80°C, as compared to the chicken breast which required a slightly lower temperature (165°F/74°C, based on USDA recommendation for food safety). Since it has a higher content of fat, it will not dry out easily and stay juicy even it is cooked for a longer time.
Note: It is best to use a meat pounder to flatten the chicken to about 1/4 inch thick before marinating. Chicken thigh fillet is usually thin enough and is not necessary to be flattened further.
Step 2- Marinate
I marinate the chicken thigh fillet (most recipes exclude marination) because chicken thigh is tougher and requires a longer time for the flavor imbue to the center part of the fillet. The wet marinade also helps to moisten the fillet. It ensures every bite of the chicken is tender and full of flavor, even just eat it without the cheese crust.
The common seasoning for Parmesan crusted chicken is salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and pepper. I have experimented by using an Asian marinade and it works well. The inclusion of soy sauce provides an Asian flavor, The marinade also includes Worcestershire sauce which give a more complex flavor.
Generally, you need to marinate for just two hours, as the fillet is not very thick.
Step 3- Prepare the breading station
I use the standard breading procedure- flour, egg wash and crumbs.
Flour- Use all-purpose flour for this purpose. All-purpose flour contains a leavening agent which helps to make the crust more crispy. If you use normal cake flour, you can add a small amount of baking powder to achieve the same leavening effect as all-purpose flour. As a rule of thumb, you can add 4g of baking powder to 100g of cake flour for breading purpose.
Dredge the chicken to the flour. The purpose of the flour is to help the breading stick to the chicken fillet. Excess flour does not contribute any flavor or serve any purpose so please shake off the excess flour before dipping it into the egg wash.
Egg wash- I use only egg for this purpose without adding other ingredients (eg. milk or water). Eggs help to bind the crumbs to the chicken. Dip the chicken into the egg wash and make sure it is completely covered by the eggs.
Crumbs- The purpose of crumbs is to create a crisp, golden coating when fried. The best result is to use the Japanese-style dry bread crumbs called panko. I am not able to find in my local grocery shop so I used a local brand which worked well too.
The size of commercially processed breadcrumbs is more even, and has a light, airy, and delicate texture that helps it crisps as it cooks. It also absorbs less oil than homemade bread crumbs and therefore more healthy. You can make your homemade breadcrumbs of course, but they lack the distinct flaky texture.
Salt is not required in the crumbs mixture as the Parmesan cheese is salty enough.
The breadcrumbs are mixed with shredded Parmesan cheese and pepper. I normally mix one part of cheese with one part of breadcrumbs, but you can experiment to use more cheese if you like stronger cheese flavor.
Dredge the chicken into the crumbs mixture and make sure the whole surface of the chicken thigh fillet is well covered by the crumbs.
Step 4- Pan fried followed by oven bake
There are two reasons I do this:
Chicken thigh is cooked at a higher temperature than breast meat, which means I have to pan-fried it for a longer time. The color of the crust will become too dark if I pan-fried it until the internal temperature reaches 175°F/80°C. This problem can be overcome by transferring the half-cooked chicken to the oven aand bake at 355°F/180°C for another five minutes.
Less oil is required and therefre it is healthier.
Step 5- Finishing touch / to serve
The soy and Worcestershire sauce in this recipe is strong enough which has a unique flavor that sets apart from the traditional dish. Therefore, lemon juice is NOT necessary but there isn’t hurt if you dribble a few drop on it.
Now it’s your turn to cook …
What I have written above is based on my experience in Asian cooking and testing and tweaking the original Parmesan Crusted Chicken. I’d love to hear from you and encourage you to explore and improvise on my Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe. Please leave your comments and suggestions in the comment box below. I welcome any suggestions and look forward to hearing from you.