Two words that usually make me cringe when I see them on a menu: chicken parmesan.
Because it epitomizes crap Italian-American food, restaurants with a white, green & red color scheme on their sign (something that will immediately deter me from ever entering) and a deep fried piece of dry meat slathered in a jarred red sauce. And the saddest part is that most Americans think that’s what actual Italian food is. That, fried calamari and mozzarella pronounced like it’s related to the applesauce company. I know we all can’t be Giada, but the “motts-a-rella” thing kills me. Killlllls me.
I’m not trying to be some elitist American of Italian descent, but chicken parm should be light, full of fresh herb flavor with a hint of a salty bite from the parmesan cheese. Not doused in sodium filled marinara sauce with enough grease dripping off of it to fry 10 lbs. of potatoes.
So when I accidentally picked up ground chicken instead of turkey a couple of weeks ago, I decided to run with the whole parmesan thing but in a meatloaf, muffin kind of way. A way that incorporated all the flavors of what chicken parmesan should be without the typical American bastardization (<—that’s kind of a fun word to use) of it.
They ended up coming out moist, filled with plenty of freshness from the parsley and basil, just enough salt from the parmesan and plenty of flavor from the sun dried tomatoes. Topped with a dollop of sauce and shaving of fresh parmesan, it’s what Italian should taste like.
I made them with the intent of having a premade high protein quick option to add to meals for the week (similar to the turkey quinoa muffins) and they lasted all of 2 days between the two of us eating them at every meal we could justify (breakfast would’ve been a little weird).
No gaudy flag inspired decor, no grease, no nasty sauce.