June 20, 2020


I love chicken parmigiana!

It’s not an Italian dish, so I only tasted it for the first time once I moved to America in my 20s. When I did, I was spellbound — I immediately looked up the history of the dish and learned that it was made by Italian immigrants in America. My cooking marries Southern Italian cuisine with Southern California so chicken parm really spoke to me.

My mother used to make me chicken Milanese, breaded, fried and stuffed with fresh mozzarella. I’d take it to school for lunch and eat it alongside bread dipped in leftover tomato sauce. This meal inspired my Chicken Parmigiana sandwich which is an off-the-menu special at Pizzana in Los Angeles. It sells out every time!

Now that my son is 3, he is my designated sous chef at home!

I love passing my family’s tradition of cooking down to him and I hope you enjoy cooking this recipe with your father, son or a special person in your life.

Pizzana Chef
Michelin Bib Gourmand Award Recipient
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 2-3 slices of mozzarella di bufala or fresh mozzarella
  • 1 roll of ciabatta, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup cooked marinara sauce (tomato sauce cooked with 2 basil leaves, salt & half a stick of butter)
  • ½ cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • ½ cup arugula
  • ⅓ cup basil
  • salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup parmesan crisps
  • Lightly pound the chicken thighs with a meat hammer
  • Dredge in flour first, then eggs and lastly in breadcrumbs
  • Fry the thigh in oil for 5-6 minutes at 325° degrees
  • Once golden brown, set aside and season with salt and pepper
  • Add the parmigiano and the mozzarella to the top of the chicken
  • Place the chicken in a small sheet tray and melt the cheese in an oven at 500° degrees for a couple minutes
  • While the cheese melts, mix the arugula and basil, forming a salad seasoned with only olive oil salt and pepper
  • Spread marinara sauce on both sides of the ciabatta
  • Assemble your sandwich by adding the chicken, salad mixture and parmesan crisps
  • Serve with a marinara sauce for dipping

Live To Eat

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