Best Veal, Chicken and Eggplant Parmigiana Recipes
The classic Parmigiana dish originated as an Italian dish made with crumbed eggplant slices that were layered with cheese and tomato salsa, then baked. But chefs other countries modified the recipe to use crumbed veal or chicken.
In Australia, veal and chicken parmigiana is a very popular main meal in pubs and clubs. This version is made from flattened veal and chicken schnitzels that are crumbed and deep fried, then topped with tomato salsa, béchamel sauce and cheese, which is melted under a grill or in the oven.
Whatever version you prefer, eggplant (aubergine), veal and chicken parmigiana is delicious and can be easily made at home using fresh herbs and spices.
This article provides a set of fabulous recipes for the layered, baked variety and the crumbed and deep fried version.
Classic Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups of béchamel sauce (see recipe here)
- 2 cups tomato salsa (chunky pasta style sauce with onions and herbs)
- 1 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a tablespoon of milk
- Plain flour for dusting
- 2 medium eggplants or 3-5 smaller ones
- Vegetable oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Slice the eggplants (about 1.5 cm; 1/2 inches thick), sprinkle with salt, place in a colander and leave for 30 minutes to reduce the bitterness in larger slices. Wash and pat dry. Roll each eggplant slice in the flour, dip in the beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs (push down to ensure an even coating). Pour enough oil in a heavy frying pan so that it is about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Heat the oil to a very hot deep frying temperature. Fry the eggplant slices two or three at a time until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Use some spray oil, or lightly grease a deep sided baking dish or casserole dish. Apply a thin layer of tomato salsa sauce then add a single layer of eggplant slices, so they overlap slightly. Then a layer of pasta sauce and the second layer of eggplant slices. Repeat using the remaining slices, and complete with a layer of tomato sauce on top. Mix the grated cheeses and béchamel sauce (optional) parmesan) in a small bowl and add to the mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with some extra parmesan cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top layer is bubbling and the cheese has turned brown.
Chicken or Veal Parmigiana - Deep Fried Schnitzels Recipe
For the Schnitzels
- 2 chicken breast fillets (sliced horizontally into pieces 1 cm; 1/4 inch thick) or 4 veal or 4 minute steaks
- 1 cup plain flour (seasoned with pepper and salt)
- 2 eggs whisked with 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 cups bread crumbs made from wholemeal bread (toast and chop in a blender or food processor)
- Optional: Add fresh herbs, grated parmesan, whole pine nuts or ground almonds to the crumb mixture.
- Oil for frying
For the Topping
- 4 chicken or veal schnitzels (see the recipe above), fried and set aside
- 2 cups chunky tomato salsa sauce
- 1 1/2 cups of béchamel sauce
- 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese (some mozzarella can be included)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preparing the Schnitzels
For the chicken breast fillets, slice each horizontally to create 4 thin escalopes of chicken. Flatten the chicken slices with a meat mallet. Also flatten the veal and other meats with a mallet, if no done when purchased. Place flour on a large plate and crumbs in another. Place the whisked egg and milk between both plates. Roll the chicken or veal slices in the flour, dip into the egg mixture and coat well with breadcrumbs, pressing into he mixture to ensure an even cover. Refrigerate the schnitzels for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan or deep fryer and fry the veal of chicken schnitzels until moderately browned on both sides and cooked in the center, turning once. Ensure the oil is high enough so that the crumb coating becomes crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels
Baking the Schnitzels for Parmigiana
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F). Place the cooked veal or chicken schnitzels on a large baking dish and cover with a thick layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with mixed grated cheeses. Alternatively the parmesan cheese can be combined with béchamel sauce and used to top the tomato salsa layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. The cheese can also be melted under the grill.
Baked Veal (or Chicken) Parmigiana
- 4 veal or pork leg escalopes, flattened (or chicken escalopes)
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 4 cups fresh wholemeal bread crumbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 fresh red chilies
- 3 anchovies
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Several sprigs of fresh basil and thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Chop the basil and chilies and add to the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and fry the mixture for several minutes. Then add the canned tomatoes, cook for a minute and season with pepper and salt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the breadcrumbs in the bowl and add the thyme leaves, finely grated lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Coat the veal pieces by rolling in flour, dipping in the egg mixture and then rolling in the breadcrumb mixture. Cook the crumbed veal pieces in a heavy pan until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Taking a large baking dish and spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Lay the cooked veal escalopes on top and sprinkle with grated cheese and torn pieces of mozzarella. Dot with basil leaves, other herbs and spices to taste. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and has a golden brown color.
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson