Playing Rachael's Spicy Chicken Parm

Serve these cutlets with either Arrabiata Sauce and melted Mozzarella or Provolone or Calabrian Chili-Honey and Stracciatella — Rachael's leaving the choice up to you!

"A cool salad of thinly sliced fennel, celery and celery tops, parsley, lemon juice, EVOO and hazelnuts or walnuts makes a lovely side or starter," she says.

Ingredients
For the Chicken Parm:
  • 8 chicken cutlets, horizontally halved and pounded ⅛-inch-thick, or for larger cutlets, butterfly each breast and leave attached
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated garlic, half a palmful
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, ⅓ palmful
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram leaves, ⅓ palmful
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed or fennel pollen, ⅓ palmful
  • Olive oil, for frying
For the Arrabiata Sauce and Bubbly Cheese Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sundried tomato paste
  • 1 round tablespoon Calabrian chili paste, or 2 teaspoons chili flakes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • One 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • A few leaves torn basil
  • 2 cups shredded provolone or mozzarella
For the Calabrian Chili-Honey Preparation:
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup acacia honey
  • ⅓ cup Calabrian chili paste
  • One 1-pound container (500 grams) stracciatella cheese, available on Amazon
Yield
Serves: 4
Preparation

For the chicken parm, season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Arrange a breading station in shallow dishes: flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs, panko and cheese seasoned with garlic, chili, oregano or marjoram and fennel.

Heat oil, about ¼ inch deep, in a large shallow skillet over medium-high heat.  

Coat seasoned chicken in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs and cook 1 large or 2-3 smaller cutlets at a time, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain cutlets on wire rack. Cutlets can be held in 275˚F oven for up to 20 minutes to serve.  

If using Arrabiata sauce, heat EVOO in a saucepot over medium to medium-high heat, add garlic and swirl, then add tomato paste and chili paste and swirl a minute more. Add stock to thin and combine the pastes, then add tomatoes, season with salt and sugar, add basil and break up tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Top cutlets with some arrabiata sauce and cheese, and broil to bubble and brown. Serve with additional sauce on the side.   

If using the Calabrian chili-honey preparation, warm stock, honey and paste in small pot. Top cutlets with spoonfuls of chili honey and top with a small mound of cheese.