Origins of Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is a staple at Italian-American restaurants and in many North American homes. But how did this dish originate?

Chicken Parmesan is a staple at Italian-American restaurants and in many North American homes. But how did this dish originate?

Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Parmigiana are both the same delicious, mouth-watering dish that you know well and love. It’s a breaded chicken cutlet with lots of melted mozzarella and/or provolone. Doesn’t that make your stomach rumble?

Chicken Parmesan started way back with Eggplant Parmigiana in Campania and Sicily in Italy. You deep fry eggplant and then add cheese and tomato sauce. Then bake it, and enjoy. At some points, cooks in North America, and other regions of the world with large Italian immigrant populations, realized that chicken would be an excellent alternative to the eggplant and Chicken Parmigiana was born.

In America, the dish became popular around 1958, and the “New York Times” first featured a recipe in 1962. We now love it so much that it has the shortened nickname “Chicken Parm.” It’s usually served with hot pasta or bread. Or even better … in a sub sandwich. Yum.

Other regions of the world have embraced the dish as well. It’s considered a bar staple in Australia. Really. It makes a plain burger look pretty bland, huh? Anyway, the Aussies serve it with salad and chips.

In England, it’s called Parmo and it’s served with béchamel sauce.

You make milanesa a la napolitana in Argentina. It’s traditionally made with beef, but can be substituted with chicken. It can be topped with bacon, ham or egg and served with fries.

Seeing how popular chicken parm is in diffferent parts of the world would instantly make you realize how delicious it must be. Biting into it is total confirmation. Check out our Classic Chicken Parmesan recipe over here. We also have a slow cooker version and a healthier baked one too.


Amy Bowen

Amy had no clue how to cook until she became the food reporter for a daily newspaper in Minnesota. At 25, she even struggled with boxed mac and cheese. These days, Amy is a much better cook, thanks to interviewing cooks and chefs for more than 10 years. She even makes four cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, no boxed mac in sight. Amy is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.