Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Casserole 2012 – New HD Version of the Most Popular Chicken Recipe on the Internet

On Thursday, February 21, 2008, we published a post called, “The End of Chicken Parmesan As You Know It,” offering an easy casserole version of this iconic Italian-American restaurant favorite. 

The title was hyperbolic, but inexplicably, the poorly lighted, lamely voiced, low-res video actually did go on to become the most popular chicken recipe video in the history of the Internet.

Thanks to YouTube, and social media sites like Pinterest, this alternative to the much, much messier and time-consuming chicken Parmesan went viral, and literally millions of people have watched and made this dish. So, with all the massive traffic visiting that old post, I felt the need to upload a nice, new version in HD.

Besides culinary vanity, I wanted to repost to address the concerns of a few that the cooking time wasn’t long enough. This recipe has generated more positive comments and emails than just about any recipe we’ve done. People LOVE this recipe, and seem to enjoying spreading the word with unbridled enthusiasm, so I found these occasional “doesn’t work” emails very mysterious.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that just like in the original recipe, 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes, plus a 10 minute rest, was plenty long enough to cook my fairly large chicken breasts. So, why did some people have a problem? Breast size and temperature.

I believe that most of the people that had issues were using just-thawed chicken that was still very, very cold inside. Of course, the optional quick sear in a pan as shown here will take care of that issue. Also, grocery store chicken breasts can range in size from 6-ounce up to 10-ounce, which obviously will have much different cooking times. So, the best thing to do is forget time, and simply use a thermometer.

I like to pull at around 155 degrees F. internal temp, and after a little rest, they are perfect. I would start checking at the 30-minute mark, and be sure to test in the middle of the thickest part of the breast. Besides cooking time, the rest of the recipe is ridiculously easy, and really does provide a very high-quality chicken Parmesan experience.

So, if you are one of the few people in the civilized world who has not given this recipe a try yet, I hope you like the new HD version, and give it a whirl soon. Enjoy!

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed, optional
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (more sauce is fine)
1/4 cup chopped basil, if available
8 oz mozzarella, shredded, divided
3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated fine, about 3/4 cup, divided
*by the way, the same amount of fake Parmesan will not taste the same, and the amount may need to be adjusted…go buy some real Parmigiano-Reggiano!
1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons

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