Who says you can’t have crispy, delicious, Chicken Parmesan on a low carb and gluten free diet? Not I. Skip the breadcrumbs and substitute almond meal. It makes a wonderful crusty topping.
One of the secrets to a juicy, tender, crisp fried chicken cutlet is to slice the chicken breasts in half the long way, so that the chicken breasts are thinner. The chicken cooks faster and stays juicy and tender. You avoid the woody, boingy, thick piece of chicken that gets tough while you cook it through. And since the chicken is thinner, the ratio of sauce to cheese to chicken is always perfect.
Slicing chicken breasts in half is easy. I’ve included a description of the best technique below. Even though I know it only takes a few minutes to do, I thought I’d take advantage of Whole Foods’ free offer to halve the breasts for me. Big mistake. The butcher butchered them. I was watching him get started, thinking, hmmm…he’s using a skinny little knife and starting across the middle. How’s this ever going to work? But then I thought, well he’s a professional and don’t be a neurotic micro-manager. Just go pick out lettuce and leave the guy alone. It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered my uneven, lumpy mess of breasts. Some were thick, some were thin, some had holes in them. He does get an “A” for lovely packaging though – they were stacked in pretty layers with paper between each one.
This chicken Parmesan comes together quickly. Topped with my flavorful sugar free Homemade Tomato Sauce and fresh mozzarella, this makes a luscious and satisfying meal. I like to serve this with a simple green salad.
- 1 recipe Homemade Tomato Sauce or your favorite tomato sauce, warmed up
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each) or 4 smaller breasts (4-5 ounces each)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2-1 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 8, 1/4" thick slices of mozzarella (I use the fresh, whole milk kind)
- Slice the chicken breasts in half: the easiest way to do this is to lay the breast flat and parallel to you, on a cutting board. Face the thick end of the breast to the side that you're going to start cutting from (so to the right, for a right-handed person). Place one hand on top of breast to hold down. Using a sharp chef's knife, start at the thicker end of the breast. Hold knife parallel to the cutting board and slice through the center of the breast.
- Put egg in a dish or pie plate and beat.
- Put almond meal in another pie plate or large plate.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Oil is ready for frying when it starts to shimmer. While oil is heating, coat breasts.
- Working with one at a time, dip both sides of breast in beaten egg and then in almond meal to coat. Add to hot oil as each one is coated.
- Sauté cutlets until golden brown on each side and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes total.
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Transfer cutlets to a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Top each cutlet with a spoonful or two of tomato sauce and 2 slices of mozzarella. Put a little tomato sauce in baking dish around cutlets. (Don't feel the need to use up all the tomato sauce or it will make the breasts soggy. Serve extra tomato sauce on the side at the table.)
- Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and lightly brown.
- Add a teaspoon of oregano or Italian seasoning and/or 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to the almond meal mixture before breading the chicken breasts.