Recipe Courtesy Chef Jet Tila -- from his cookbook, “101 Epic Dishes”
*Preheat the oven to 375 F
1. Combine the kosher salt, pepper and Italian seasoning mix in a small bowl and reserve. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F with convection.
2. Take a heavy-duty zip top bag and cut open one side of it. Place one or two cutlets at a time as flat as possible in the bag. Using a small frying pan or rolling pin, pound meat to even 1/4-inch-thick slices. Season each piece generously with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning mix.
3. Separately place flour, eggs, and panko into three wide, shallow bowls. Dip each piece in flour, then eggs, and then coat with panko (pressing it in for thorough coverage).
4. Fill a large skillet with 1/2-inch oil. Place over medium-high heat. When oil is at 375 F, fry cutlets in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
5. Spread 4 cups of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle one-third of the Parmesan over sauce. Place half of the cutlets over the Parmesan and top with mozzarella pieces. Dot some sauce sparingly over the mozzarella, then top with the remaining Parmesan. The idea here is to keep the crispy coating texture on top rather than making it soggy with too much sauce.
6. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until cheese is golden and casserole is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Once the internal temp of the chicken reaches 165, remove from the oven. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
7. Chef Hack: To make eggplant parmesan, sub ½” thick sliced of Italian eggplant into this recipe. Also you can buy gluten free panko bread crumbs.
FOR THE EASY HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE:
Yield 4 cups (960 ml)
This is your all-purpose tomato sauce recipe you can use for a ton of uses including pasta, pizza, and meatballs. Fast and easy to cook, I always have about a quart on hand for quick meals.
Chef Tip: Store in air tight Tupperware or even zip top bags in the freezer until ready to use.
Tip: Either crushed or chopped canned tomatoes will work great. The anchovies will melt right in add a deep savory flavor, don’t be scared.
1. Add the olive oil in a deep skillet and turn the heat to medium high. When the temp gets to about 375F (190C) stir in the garlic and the anchovies and sizzle for about 30 seconds.
Tip: I added sugar to this recipe when you’re using tomatoes out of season. Ripe tomatoes have a lot more sweetness and don’t need the sugar.)
2. Pour in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauces reduces and thickens slightly. Reduce the heat if the sauce starts to boil. Stir in oregano, salt and pepper and cook for an additional minute. Remove sauce from heat and use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.