While we can definitely get down with the cheesy, saucy, usually pasta-adorning dish most people associate with chicken parm, it’s not exactly sexy food. In this crispy, gluten-free take, we keep all the deliciousness but lose the superfluous heft. Cozy, nostalgic, and easy (thanks to Rao’s), this elegant chicken parm is exactly what your date wants to eat.
¼ cup gluten-free flour (we use Cup4Cup)
½ cup Ian’s gluten-free bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
2 chicken cutlets (about ⅓ pound each)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces mozzarella (2 slices from an 8-ounce
¼ cup good jarred marinara sauce (we use Rao’s)
fresh basil, to garnish
1. Prepare 3 shallow bowls for the dredging process. Place the gluten-free flour in 1, the bread crumbs and Parmesan in another, and the egg in the other. Season each with a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.
2. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron pan over low heat and add the olive oil.
3. While the pan heats up, dredge your cutlets. Dip each cutlet into the flour, coating every last bit, then shake off any extra flour (tongs work well for this part) and dip into the beaten egg. Coat well, lift to drain off any extra egg, and dip in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing down a little to make sure as much mixture is sticking as possible. If your shallow bowls are big enough, do both cutlets at the same time. Otherwise, do 1 first, place it in the pan to start cooking, then prepare the other one.
4. When both cutlets are in the pan, turn the heat up to medium and cook until the breading is golden and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the cutlets.
5. While the chicken cooks, slice the mozzarella, turn on the broiler to high, and prepare a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.
6. Remove the chicken to the baking sheet and spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce over each piece. Top with a slice of mozzarella and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and just beginning to blister, about 3 minutes.
7. Serve garnished with torn or finely sliced basil leaves and a simple arugula salad.
Originally featured in The Perfect Date-Night Meal