In this recipe, American Southern food meets Italian in a kicked-up chicken Parm suitable for a Memorial Day spread.
I use my homemade spiced rum barbecue sauce instead of marinara and coat the chicken with crushed barbecue baked chips mixed with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. The mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses complement the barbecue flavors in this dish.
A couple of tips. Use your food processor to coarsely grind the chips before you start the recipe. Or put the chips in a plastic storage bag and crush with a rolling pin or flat side of a meat mallet.
Use a domestic mildly flavored Parmesan cheese that is not too bold in flavor. The less expensive store brand Parmesan will suit this dish just fine.
You can double the sauce recipe and store what you don’t use in the refrigerator.
Spiced Rum Barbecue Sauced Chicken Parmesan
For the barbecue sauce:
1 cup ketchup
½ cup spiced rum
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons mild molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, more if you like heat
For the chicken:
1 cup barbecue-flavored potato chips or other chips like Ritz Crisp and Thins, ground in the food processor
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 large eggs
6 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
½ cup canola oil
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely minced
Make the sauce: In a medium nonreactive saucepan, whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until thickened and reduced. Set aside off heat until ready to use.
Make the chicken: In one shallow bowl, blend the crushed chips, panko bread crumbs and ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs.
Coat the chicken first in the beaten eggs and then in the crushed chip mixture. Pat the crumbs on to adhere. Set aside on a platter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed half sheet pan with foil.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat until just shimmering. Saute the chicken until it is a light golden brown on both sides. It will finish cooking in the oven. Transfer chicken to the sheet pan, evenly spacing the pieces.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of sauce over each piece of chicken. Sprinkle each generously with mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle each with minced parsley. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is nicely melted and bubbling.
To serve, plate each piece of chicken and serve the remaining sauce at the table.
Source: Lorraine Fina Stevenski