Bobby Flay's Tip For Serving Chicken Parmesan That Doesn't Get Soggy

Bobby Flay smiling
Bobby Flay smiling - DFree/Shutterstock

Crispy, golden, and rich with fried flavor, chicken parmesan is a classic for a reason. Its satisfying crunch is filling and moreish while the gooey cheese on top is enough to make the heart sing. However, the crispy breadcrumb coating can get soggy if you're not careful with the placement of your marinara sauce. Fortunately, Bobby Flay provided a tip to keep chicken Parmesan crisp on an episode of the Today show. The key is to bake the cheese-topped chicken separately until it's fully cooked before setting it on top of a swirl of marinara spread across your plate moments before serving.

Traditionally, chicken parmesan recipes call for the crunchy cutlets to be placed directly on top of the sauce before they're baked on a sheet tray or skillet. The chicken is then topped with more of the same aromatic sauce before it's sprinkled with cheese and baked again until golden and bubbly. The problem with this technique is that the coating on the chicken absorbs the pool of sauce, turning it soggy and soft. Flay's trick reduces the time that the crispy protein is in contact with the sauce, ensuring that it doesn't swell up with moisture and can remain shatteringly crisp for as long as possible. He also skips the stage where the surface of the chicken is covered in marinara. Instead, he scatters the top with slices of buffalo mozzarella alone to help retain that audible crunch.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Add Cheese To The Center Of The Chicken To Keep It Crisp

Chicken parmesan on plate
Chicken parmesan on plate - Mohamed-Kareem Mohamed/Shutterstock

Flay recommends that the slices of cheese be placed in the center of the chicken cutlets, so a crispy border remains around the edges. This technique guarantees that some parts of the crunchy breading are free from both sauce and cheese, which means the golden crust retains its structural integrity as there's no extra moisture nearby for the craggy surface to absorb. The result? Every texture gets equal billing from the fragrant, herby sauce and crispy bits of chicken to the stretchy mozzarella. And if you're serving this dish to a diner who craves a little more sauce, simply place a bowl of extra marinara on the table for them to spoon over their chicken at their leisure.

Coating your chicken parmesan in panko can also help it retain its crispy texture for longer because these Japanese-style breadcrumbs absorb less moisture than regular varieties. You can even toast the Panko first before using it to bread your chicken cutlets to make sure they're extra crispy after baking. Then pair your crunchy chicken parmesan with pasta or serve it with a dressed salad for a lighter bite.

Read the original article on Tasting Table