Tag Archives: chicken parmesan

Chicken Parmigiana (gluten-free)

chicken parm on a plateChicken Parmigiana is a family favorite that I hadn’t made in a long time – about a year – since I went on a gluten-free diet. (Read more about my reasons here.) After reading through several paleo-style cookbooks from some very talented cooks I realized I could makeover our favorite version of this recipe so I could eat it, plus in doing so I reduced the carb count making this a decent recipe for anyone on a lower carb diet as well. The tapioca starch is a good Paleo-friendly substitute for all-purpose flour normally used for dredging the chicken before pan-frying.

The rolled presentation of this dish makes it special enough for a company dinner. If you’ve never flattened a boneless chicken breast before it isn’t hard. If the chicken is especially thick you can butterfly it first. Then place the chicken between two sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap, waxed paper, or inside a freezer strength zip top bag. Use the flat side of a meat mallet, or a rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy skillet, and just pound the chicken – don’t be dainty – until it is a uniform 1/2″ thickness.  The time to be gentle is when you’re rolling the filling up inside. Don’t squeeze or press too hard or the filling will squirt out. Pin it up with toothpicks to keep it all together.

 Chicken Parmigiana (gluten-free)

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup organic ricotta cheese

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

8 large fresh basil leaves, rolled and shredded

freshly ground black pepper

arrowroot or tapioca starch for dredging

1 cup blanched almond meal

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

3 cups marinara sauce (see note)

8 slices mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If the chicken breasts are large  you can butterfly them first. Place the chicken on a cutting board and cover with a sheet of waxed paper or heavy duty plastic wrap. Use a heavy rolling pin or meat mallet to pound the chicken to about 1/2″ thickness evenly throughout. I had larger pieces of meat so I ended up cutting them in half after they were pounded so the finished roll wouldn’t be so large. You may or may not need to cut yours.  Season the pounded chicken on both sides with the sea salt.

Mix together the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the basil and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Set three rimmed plates or pans in a row. Sprinkle arrowroot powder or tapioca starch in the first pan. Beat the two eggs in the second pan. Mix the almond meal and the dried basil in the third pan.

chicken parm filled ready to roll

flattened and filled, ready to roll

chicken parm rolled in almond meal

filled, rolled and coated in seasoned almond meal

 

Divide the ricotta mixture evenly between the flattened chicken pieces. Starting at the larger end, gently roll up the chicken taking care not to squeeze the filling out. Secure with toothpicks. Dredge the chicken rolls in the arrowroot tapping off the excess, then dip into the beaten egg letting the extra drip back into the pan, then coat them with the almond meal mixture. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, in batches if needed. Cook until browned and getting crispy on the outside, about 4 minutes per side.

Spread 1 cup of the marinara in a baking pan large enough to fit the chicken in one layer. Place the browned chicken rolls in the pan. Top with the remaining marinara. Layer the slices of mozzarella on the chicken and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is browned and bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.

*You can use your own homemade marinara sauce, or if you would like to use jarred sauce we Rao's ingredient listrecommend Rao’s. The Rao’s marinara doesn’t have any artificial ingredients or added sugars and the flavor is delicious. If you like it, consider buying a case through our Amazon store. The jar price per case is less than half of the usual grocery store price by the jar. And even though it doesn’t increase your purchase price, Amazon does give Well Fed Family a token of thanks in return.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten-free Chicken Parmigiana
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup organic ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, rolled and shredded
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • arrowroot powder or tapioca starch for dredging
  • 1 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 eggs, preferably from pasture raised hens
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or jarred such as Rao's)
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. If the chicken breasts are large you can butterfly them first.
  3. Place the chicken on a cutting board and cover with a sheet of waxed paper or heavy duty plastic wrap.
  4. Use a heavy rolling pin or meat mallet to pound the chicken to about ½" thickness evenly throughout.
  5. Cut to uniform sizes.
  6. Season the pounded chicken on both sides with the sea salt.
  7. Mix together the ricotta, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, the fresh basil and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
  8. Set three rimmed plates or pans in a row.
  9. Sprinkle arrowroot powder or tapioca starch in the first pan.
  10. Beat the two eggs in the second pan.
  11. Mix the almond meal and the dried basil in the third pan.
  12. Divide the ricotta mixture evenly between the flattened chicken pieces.
  13. Starting at the larger end, gently roll up the chicken taking care not to squeeze the filling out.
  14. Secure with toothpicks.
  15. Dredge the chicken rolls gently in the arrowroot or tapioca, tapping off the excess, then dip into the beaten egg letting the extra drip back into the pan.
  16. Roll the chicken in the almond meal mixture.
  17. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  18. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, in batches if needed.
  19. Cook until browned and getting crispy on the outside, about 4 minutes per side.
  20. Spread 1 cup of the marinara in a baking pan large enough to fit the chicken in one layer.
  21. Place the browned chicken rolls in the pan.
  22. Top with the remaining marinara. Layer the slices of mozzarella on the chicken and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan.
  23. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is browned and bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.

chicken parm in baking pan

 What favorite recipes would you like to makeover to fit your healthy lifestyle? Tell us about them in the comments.

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