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This is not Italian: Chicken Parmigiana


Parmigiana (US /ˌpɑːrməˈʒɑːnə/, UK /ˌpɑːmɪˈdʒɑːnə/; Italian: [parmiˈdʒaːna]; also parmigiana di melanzane [parmiˈdʒaːna di melanˈdzaːne; -ˈtsa-], or melanzane alla parmigiana [melanˈdzaːne alla parmiˈdʒaːna; -ˈtsa-] or shortened as parmi) is an Italian dish made with a shallow or deep-fried sliced aubergine filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. Parmigiana made with a filling of eggplant (also called aubergine) is the earliest and still unique Italian version. Other variations may include chicken, veal, or another type of meat cutlet or vegetable filling. The origin of the dish is claimed by both the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily.

Variations made with breaded meat cutlets, such as veal and chicken, have been popularized in other countries, usually in areas of Italian immigration. In the United States and Canada, veal parmigiana or chicken parmigiana is often served as an entree, and sometimes is served as a submarine sandwich. It is also popular with a side of or on top of pasta. Diced onions or green bell peppers, sauteed or raw, are sometimes added.[1] The veal dish is known in Italian as Cotolette alla Bolognese.[2] Veal or chicken parmigiana is a common dish in Australia and Argentina and in both countries often served with a side of chips or salad.[3][4] In Australia, it may also contain a variety of toppings, including sliced ham or fried eggplant (aubergine) slices.[5][6] In Argentina and in other neighboring South American countries, veal or chicken parmigiana is topped with ham and served with french fries. It is known as milanesa a la napolitana.[7][8][9][10] If the dish is topped with a fried egg, then it is known as a súper milanesa or suprema napolitana. The origin of the dish was the Napoli restaurant in Buenos Aires during the 1940s. (See also Milanesa napolitana (Spanish).) A similar dish, the parmo, which uses either pork or chicken, has developed in England. In Brazil, Parmigiana is a popular restaurant dish, which was brought over by Italian immigrants (Brazil having the largest population of such immigrants in the world). There are three kinds of Parmigiana in Brazil: filé de frango a parmigiana (chicken fillet parmigiana), berinjela a parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana) and meat parmigiana. Three types of beef are used to make meat parmigiana: two prime cuts, yielding, respectively, filé mignon à parmigiana (tenderloin parmigiana) and contra-filé à parmigiana (sirloin steak parmigiana), while the third type, yielding bife à parmigiana, is simply beef of an unspecified cut. In Brazil, Parmigiana dishes are usually served with either white rice and fried potatoes or with pasta in a tomato sauce. Source


Chicken or veal parmesan. Nope, not Italian. What is Italian, or at least southern Italian, is melanzane alla parmigiana, or what we know (roughly) as “eggplant parm” — eggplant fried and layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan, then baked. Using meat instead, and throwing it on top of pasta, was an invention of Italian immigrants in the United States and Canada.

As with most Italian-American cuisine, chicken and veal parm probably came about as a way to show how much more Italian immigrants could suddenly afford in the New Country. Back home, most subsisted on cheap foods like polenta and black bread in brine. (Have you seen that at your local Olive Garden? Didn’t think so.) After all, meat and pasta were expensive. But now, with their newfound American wealth, these same peasants and laborers could write back home and say Hey, guess what we cooked, parmigiana made with veal! And served with pasta!

Thus, chicken and veal “parmesan” — and lots of other meat-and-pasta dishes besides — were born.

Instead try: If you’re in Sicily or the south, melanzane alla parmigiana. Source


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