Not to be eaten daily. This chicken parmo recipe is meant to be a treat!
All of the most popular takeaways in Teesside serve a good chicken parmo! They have to or they are simply passed by for the takeaway that does.
I’ve been cooking with the family today and when I asked what they missed most on a weekend, my daughter, Jennifer blurted out chicken parmo! It was decided then and there that chicken parmos would take pride of place on our dinner table this evening.
For those of you who have never been to Teesside in the north east of England, chicken parmos are a treat from the area you definitely need to try. I don’t order them often because they aren’t good for you but they sure are good.
My daughter works at a nearby pub called The Horseshoe Inn. The chef there, Tom McLachlan is the chicken parmo king of the area. This isn’t his recipe but luckily I had Jennifer’s help today to ensure our chicken parmos turned out a close second to his.
Right about now, you might be wondering what this chicken parmo recipe is all about. There are so many steps to making it!
Just like most takeaway food, it is a bit over the top but that’s why chicken parmos are loved in Middlesbrough and the surrounding area. They are the unhealthy option that the young love and order often and the old (like me) wish they could.
Some estimates have said that a chicken parmo has over 2000 calories in it. I don’t think my chicken parmo recipe does as I used skimmed milk instead of full fat. I would have used full fat but didn’t have it in. The chicken breasts I used were quite small too.
I’ve seen chicken parmos at restaurants and takeaways that are the size of a medium sized pizza!
The history of the parmo
Long story short, no one really knows. Some locals say that restauranteur, Nicos Harris made the first parmo at his restaurant ‘The American Grill” in Middlesbrough back in 1958.
Most people just don’t care when or who created the recipe. They just love parmos. Two things are certain… it originated in Middlesbrough, Teesside and this chicken parmo recipe is delicious!
Want to try another British classic? You have to try my curry house style chicken tikka masala here!
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 4 cups (1 litre) milk
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 bayleaves
- 1 medium onion - roughly chopped
- 1 carrot - cut into coins
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
- FOR THE CHICKEN
- 4 large chicken breasts - butterflied and shown in the photographs
- 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs - whisked
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs or other bread crumbs
- 500g (1 1/4 lbs) grated cheddar
- Place the bayleaves, carrot, onion and peppercorns in a medium sized saucepan with the milk.
- Bring the milk almost to a simmer over medium heat. Be carefull not to boil it. Once small bubbles form on top and the milk is nice and hot, cover the pan and let the ingredients infuse into the milk for a half hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare your chicken. Pound the butterflied chicken breasts with a meat mallet. I covered the chicken with parchment paper to keep my mallet and the chicken clean.
- Pound until each breast has increased in size by about one third.
- Combine the flour with the salt and pepper.
- Dredge each chicken breast in the flour mixture, followed with the egg wash and then the bread crumbs.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f). Then heat about a litre (4 cups) rapeseed (canola) oil over medium heat until it reaches 180c (350f). If you don't have a thermometer, your oil is ready when it begins to shimmer and a small piece of chicken sizzles immediately when added to the oil.
- Fry each chicken steak individually for about 5 minutes or until crispy and brown. Transfer to paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- With the milk inflused, melt 3 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When melted, stir in the flour and whisk continuously to make a roux. Then slowly add the milk.
- Stir continuously to make a bechamel sauce. This will take about 15 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. If working ahead, this can all be done a day earlier. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- To finish, use a plate to flatten each parmo a little more. Then top generously with the bechamel sauce and the cheese.
- Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted. If you want, you can also place the finished parmos under a hot grill to char the top slightly but this isn't necessary.
- Serve with garlic mayo, ketchup and chips. Or go light and just serve them with a nice salad or two as we did.
I hope you enjoy this chicken parmo recipe. If you do try it, please don’t be a stranger. Leave a message in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.