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 breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 chicken cutlets (about ⅓ pound each)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup good jarred marinara sauce (we use Rao’s)
2 ounces mozzarella (2 slices from an 8-ounce
fresh basil, to garnish
1. Prepare three shallow bowls for the dredging process. Place the gluten-free flour in one, the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in another, and the egg in the third. 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 breadcrumb-cheese 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 one first, place it in the pan to start cooking, the prepare the second 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 your cutlets.
5. While the chicken cooks, slice your mozzarella, turn your broiler on to high, and prepare a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.
6. Remove the chicken to the baking sheet and spoon 2 tablespoons marinara sauce over each piece. Top with a slice of mozzarella, and place under the broiler for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and just beginning to blister.
7. Serve garnished with torn or finely sliced basil leaves and a simple arugula salad.
Originally featured in The Perfect Date-Night Meal