No, you don’t have to eat boiled chicken and no, you don’t have to do anything crazy to have Chicken Parmesan. Yes, you can enjoy chicken parm on a low-carb, keto, and even a gluten-free diet. This is how.
Do you need to smash the chicken?
Yes, you need to smash the chicken to have the best Chicken Parmesan. Smashing the chicken so that it is the same thickness throughout allows the breasts cook evenly. You can use meat mallet, but I prefer a multi-tool – like my cast iron skillet. It’s flat, it’s heavy, and it hits hard if you need it to. You could also use that math book you have in your closet from the geometry class you took in high school.
Is the chicken breaded? Is this a low-carb substitute for breadcrumbs?
The chicken is breaded, but not with bread. We’re using a combination of pork rinds and Parmesan cheese. The reason this breading uses both is because the flavors compliment each other to the point that neither has an overbearing flavor and the texture is very close to actual breading. The addition of Italian seasoning makes it all the better and adds that extra punch of flavor. This is what makes this Chicken Parmesan so special!
Can I substitute the pork rinds?
Yes! You can use strict Parmesan cheese or substitute it with almond flour. You won’t get the same level of crispiness and texture of traditional chicken Parmesan, but it will be good!
Can I substitute the Parmesan cheese?
You can use any hard aged cheese instead of Parmesan if you want to change the flavor – something like a Pecorino Romano would work well! However, I wouldn’t substitute it for something like cheddar or mozzarella as those cheese will simply make a goo-ey mess as part of the breading.
Is Chicken Parmesan Italian?
Actually, no! Chicken Parmesan is Italian-American. The traditional dish is eggplant Parmesan, but when Italian immigrants arrived in the USA, chicken was cheap and plentiful. As a result, the immigrants substituted the eggplant of their traditional recipe with this cheap source of protein in the new world!
Can I use fresh Mozzarella?
Yes, but it will be very watery! Chicken Parmesan – much like NY style pizza – works best with low moisture mozzarella. Low moisture mozz retains its shape better, gets nice and golden brown, and won’t excrete a bunch of water that results in a a soggy breading!
Sauce first or cheese first?
Depends on who you ask! Some folks like to place the mozzarella first with the sauce on top to prevent the breading from becoming soggy. Although, with a low-carb breading, this is less of an issue than with traditional breadcrumbs. I also dare you to leave some leftovers because this chicken parm is so good that there won’t be any sogginess to worry about!