Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken Parmigiana

I’ve made this chicken dish three weeks ago for our family dinner. And my 5-year old nephew was the one organizing it. Not exactly the way we would manage but he keeps on reminding us about family dinners every month. He always look forward to that day when he would play again with Zoe, my sister Rowena’s shi tzu dog. I’ve also been in charge of cooking vegetables for family dinners since nobody cooks them. But I’ve told everyone that it’s my turn to cook chicken. But guess what, that night, nobody prepared any vegetables.

Anyway, I’m not supposed to include this recipe on my blog because Rouxbe Online Cooking School has a video recipe for Chicken Parmigiana (Pollo ala Parmigaina) by Dawn Thomas. What could be better than a video recipe? But I also wanted to focus more on healing recipes on this blog. However an indulgence is always welcome once in a while. It’s all about balance, moderation and flexibility. In fact, I wanted to post a Tiramisu in the next few weeks unless you want to see it sooner. And when Mary learned that I’m making the Chicken Parmigiana for dinner that week, she wants to see this dish on my blog even if she enjoyed watching the video recipe. So, Mary, thank you for trusting me on this one.

Well, Mary is a food blogger who lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. Her blog Keep Learning and Keep Smiling shows easy-to-prepare healthy and delicious recipes as well as articles on how to live your life to the fullest. Mary has been an inspiration and a great support not only for what I do right now but also about my future. She keeps on encouraging me to do the things I want to do in life even if I feel there is no way. It's amazing how you can make new friends through food blogging.

I also started taking photos in the kitchen (although, not all of them) again but it’s not the best place to take photos as it is one of the places in this house that gets the least natural lighting. And I hope the photos here are not a huge downgrade from my previous posts. Actually, I felt that some of my photos on this blog are blurry (except for the chicken photo below which is really blurry). Is it my eyes, the computer screen, the resizing of the photos or it's just simply blurry? Please let me know. Taking photos in the kitchen is not quite safe and hygienic most especially if you're doing everything by yourself. But I think I could get more things done.

There are two basic sub recipes you can do ahead of time. These are the tomato sauce and the breadcrumbs. One you’ve made these, everything goes on smoothly. These two sub recipes can be used in many different ways. The basic tomato sauce is the basics among the basics. You can even ask Steve Ellis, producer of Rouxbe Online Cooking School. I think the tomato sauce changed his life.

The recipe states chicken breast but I like to use boneless chicken thighs. I think I’ve learned my lesson that every time I serve chicken breasts that is baked, they always end up dry. With family dinners, I may have a rough estimate on what time people are coming but I wanted something that stays moist even after reheating it.

Mozzarella cheese is now locally available from Rizal Dairy Farm. It’s hard to get some really good local cheese before. But now, I could say that local good quality cheese is now locally produced by other cheese producers in Davao. They’re not cheap though. You can also use fontina, which is a great melting cheese. Try making a grilled cheese, tomato and basil sandwich with it.

If you like this dish, you can expand your Italian recipe repertoire by checking this fabulous Italian Cooking Recipes from Rouxbe Online Cooking School. You’ll even learn how to make fresh pasta at home.

Here’s the text and video recipe for the Chicken Parmigiana and the Basic Tomato Sauce, and a text recipe for the Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs. Enjoy.


  1. Not had a Parmigiana for a long time. Ours would to be topped with a crispy bacon as well! I am tempted to make this in the next couple of weeks. Just need to get out of work earlier :)

  2. Divina, thanks a zillion for putting this post up for me. Have been dying to see it. I need inspiration from lovely pictures to push me into trying a recipe. I'll have to cook it. Thanks lots too for linking to my blog & also for all your compliments. Has been great knowing you. Keep up your awesome work on your blogging.

  3. Your chicken parm looks amazing. I have made it a few times, and my husband absolutely loves it. I will try your recipe next time!

  4. oh dear... now you've gone and done it...I'm going to have to have chicken Parmigiana now, STAT! Agreed, the thigh meat is definitely the most moist and flavorful. I know it doesn't have the perfect flat shape a butterflied or pounded chicken breast has, but very true, the baking process does tend to sap the moisture out, even after a pan-fry. It would add an extra step, but I wonder if soaking chicken breasts in buttermilk overnight to tenderize would keep some of the moisture in?

  5. Wow...you are an amazing photographer! Can I ask what camera and lens you are using. Are you using a macro lens? And if so, is it a 60m or 105m? You just do such a great job!

    Thanks for the inspiration Divina.

  6. You did such a great job with the low light photos in the kitchen. My kitchen is also pretty dark. When I was shooting photos for my first recipe a couple of week ago, I found myself holding a desk lamp on one hand and taking a picture with another hand. I still haven't had this issue resolved. Rouxbe is a great source of recipe and online cooking class. The site is awesome. Steve is a nice guy too. I only know him through the foodbuzz.

    Your chicken parmesan looks awesome. Once in a while I missed having a family dinner yours. I can only do that when I visit Thailand. Thanks for sharing:)


  7. look at the fried chicken pieces on the wirerack!
    with cheese on top, i'm seriously drooling now!

  8. This looks so delicious, we just went out for dinner tonight, and this is what my hubby had, i was going to have the same, but the owner made a killer lasagna that I had to have. I haven't made this at home in a while looks great. Wish I could tell you something about the photos, but I am clueless about photography and learning. I also never take photos in the kitchen because I am a germ crazy. But I just got an idea I am going to start doing and maybe you'll like. Put your camera in a plastic zip-loc baggy, cut a hole for the lens, and put a little rubber band around it, I'll try it and let you know.

  9. Great photos! This looks delicious. I kind of want to make it right now...and it's 10:45am!

  10. thanks for this post, i've been meaning to try to do this recipe...now I will very soon. And by the way, your photos still look great despite the kitchen lighting and one-woman-cooking-and-shooting mode! :) I also do this from time to time for the love of blogging :D

  11. @ penny - it sounds great with bacon.

    @ MaryMoh - You're welcome. It's been a pleasure knowing you not only as a foodie friend but a real friend who cares.

    @ Jen - thank you. I'm sure he will love this.

    @ wasabi prime - I believe soaking it in buttermilk will help tenderize the chicken meat and would add flavor too. The boneless chicken looks really odd.

    @ Dawn - Thank you for your compliments Dawn. I believe it's not a macro lens. I'm using Nikon D40 with a AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm lens.

    @ cheapappetite - Thank you Tana. Hahaha. I could imagine you holding the lamp and the camera. I haven't tried it though. But I don't think I want to give it a try. Hope the fluorescent light will cooperate with the camera. :)

    @ lululu - Thanks. You're right. The chicken alone with the cheese on top is good enough to eat already.

    @ Chef Jeena - thank you very much.

    @ Southern Grace Gourmet - I think that would be a great idea. Let me know how it goes. I think I should also give it a try. Thanks.

    @ tokyoterrace - Thank you. It's like looking at a roast chicken at 7am. I'm with you.

    @ Mom-Friday - You're very welcome and thank you. It's multi-tasting for us women and also moms. There's always room for mediocre photos. :)

  12. That is one of my favorite dishes! Your chicken parmigiana looks wonderful, mmhhh!



  13. Hi there, you did another great job on this! I took all my photos in my kitchen too...always lack of lighting! Not the best but juz OK...ha ha!

  14. Your chicken parmagiana looks succulent! Thanks for sharing :)

  15. Wow, that looks really delicious, great pictures too.

  16. MMMMMMMMM,....your chicken looks fabulous, so tasty!!

    Just lovely!!!

  17. Your photography is outstanding. Hopefully one day we'll be able to take pictures just like this. Mouths are watering everywhere for this!

  18. It must be great to have dinner with the whole family and it's so nice you share the dishes to cook. I miss such gatherings.
    And this chicken parmigiana looks heavenly, so mouthwatering!

    As for taking photos in the kitchen, you're completely right, it's not easy to cook and take photos at the same time. There must be an assistant :) My husband is generally the one who helps me, and everything gets easier. I take fewer photos if I'm alone.

  19. hello Divine :)

    your parmiagiana looks mouth-watering, as always everything you prepare is beautifully represented in photos (wish I could be half as good as you :)

    about taking photos while cooking..I do that a lot and my hands are getting dry with constant washing..maybe I'll try southern gourmet's tip

    @cheap appetite: LOL, I have tried that one too :)

  20. @ Rosa's Yummy Yums - Thanks a lot Rosa.

    @ My Little Space - Thank you. Well, your desserts are still appetizing. You're always tempting me. :)

    @ Karine - thank you. And you're welcome.

    @ Anna - thank you. I find it irresistible too.

    @ Sophie - thank you very much.

    @ The Duo Dishes - thank you. I said the same thing to professional photographers too. :)

    @ Zerrin - thank you. We try to meet with the rest of the family together at least once a month. And taking photos in the kitchen with all the clutter and dirty stuff is tricky too. :)

    @ Olive - Thanks Olive. The drawback in taking the time in taking photos is that I don't get to publish them in time. When I did this recipe, I did wash my hands too frequently. It's funny about what ideas people come up with just to take decent photos in the kitchen. :)

  21. That chicken looks perfectly fried and so good all covered in tomato sauce and melted cheese!

  22. That looks divine Divina! :) I can imagine that it's a real crowd pleaser and I love the vivid colours. Isn't it funny how blogging creates friends from all over the world?

  23. @ Kevin - Thank you. You're noticing the details. :)

    @ Lorraine - thank you. I totally agree with you. :)


Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.