Product Review: Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana (with tasty Italian recipes)

Making a simple chicken parmigiana (parmesan) isn’t that really simple.  Ok.  Start the clock.  I need  3 breading plates (flour, eggs and bread crumbs), a cutting board and a mallet, Pyrex dish, a skillet or frying pan, a stockpot to cook spaghetti or linguine, thawed chicken breasts, home-cooked or jarred tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese.  Mmm, this is not looking easy anymore.   Dip pounded (I hate this part!) chicken breasts in flour first, then in seasoned egg mixture and last  coat with bread crumbs.  Brown breaded chicken in hot oil.  Cover bottom of Pyrex dish with tomato sauce, then arrange fried chicken over sauce and sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake until chicken is done, cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.   And cook the pasta al dente is next.  If I do this for dinner on weekdays, I’d surely miss my favorite reality TV shows — sorry, I love Chicken Parmigiana (it’s the only dish I order when dining out in Italian restaurants) from scratch, but TV dinners usually win.

So I was really excited when Steve Riley of Dietz & Watson sent me an email, ” I wanted to see if I could interest you in a sample of our New Chicken Parmigiana, a service deli item by Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson, for review”.   There’s no way I’d ignore Steve, he didn’t even need to give me a pitch, I make Chicken Parmigiana every month.

I received the perishable shipment of Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana in good condition, and in really huge box…and I planned an Italian dinner that night for me and my hubby.

Got to have garlic bread.  Got to have Greek/Italian salad.  And I opted not to have pasta this time (glad I made that decision…it’s making sure the taste of Chicken Parmigiana wasn’t masked with  too much yummy tomato sauce, for my product review.  You’ll find the recipes of the garlic bread and the salad below.

Back to Dietz & Watson latest offering….Chicken Parmigiana.   If you’re in the deli counter, you’d ask for slices…thick slices if making Chicken Parmigiana.   And why I love love this deli-style Chicken Parmigiana…it’s easy to fix and I don’t have to “thaw, mess and wrestle” with chicken breasts and I don’t need to make tomato sauce to go along with it.    I completed the breading and frying in a breeze…the chicken required no seasoning (Momma knows best, it’s cooked to perfection, really!) — plain flour, just beaten whole eggs and bread crumbs (plain, Italian or even panko).   Inasmuch as chicken was already cooked, a little bit of oil was all that was needed to produce a delicate light browning in the breaded Chicken.

Dinner was served….and the verdict:  5 thick slices of breaded, boneless and skinless Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana all consumed.  That hot chunky chicken parmigiana was really yummilicious.  That was so good that I’m not sure I’ll be able to try it as a hoagie or a wrap (but it crossed my mind to cut chicken in chunks and arrange on top of my Hawaiian chicken pizza, I can’t wait!).     My hubby and I were all smiles…bellies smiling with delight too.   You really can’t mess up with this easy to make Chicken Parmigiana, I even enjoy it without tomato sauce, mozzarella and pasta.

I made one final experiment before I’m confident and going ahead with posting this review of Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana.    I brought a large portion of the chicken parmigiana to the studio and showed my producer how fast and simple it was to cook it.   I offered the cooked breaded chicken to very young Maya and Christian (producer’s grandkids, ages 9 and 6, and really picky eaters).  They loved this delicious fried chicken…and they ate them all with plain toasts.

So I say…thanks to Momma Dietz for perfecting this product and making it ready for the deli slicer (to check stores availability, visit

www.DietzAndWatson.com).

I love this quick Chicken Parmigiana (from the deli), it’s tasty, delicious and so full of flavor…and it’s loved  by both “picky” kids and grown-ups, it’s one good reason for me to visit my favorite deli counter.  And it works everytime…with or without the cooked pasta and tomato sauce.

Here’s the press release (thanks again Steve Riley and I agree with you when you mentioned, ” Sarah, I think you’ll like it a lot!), followed by “few minutes prepping, few minutes cooking” recipes.

Every so often a food company comes up with an item so unique and so delicious that it simply garners attention. Such is the case with the new Chicken Parmigiana, a service deli item by Philadelphia’s Dietz & Watson.

Aside from its taste and uniqueness as a service deli item for slicing, the way the product was developed is an interesting story in and of itself. While Dietz & Watson is a national company with sales in excess of $400 million and distributed in every state, it is still run by the 3rd and 4th generations of the family that started the company in 1939, and R&D and new product development still takes place in a sometimes informal fashion.

In the case of Chicken Parmigiana, too much tomato sauce was ordered for an event in 2010, so instead of letting a few gallons go to waste, the family and people in the lab racked their brains for ideas for a deli product using the leftover sauce. The result was Chicken Parmigiana, and after more than a year perfecting it, it is now available in service delis.

FIRST-OF-A-KIND DELI MEAT FROM DIETZ & WATSON MAKES PREPARING A CLASSIC FALL AND WINTER COMFORT FOOD A SNAP

Chicken Parmigiana from the Deli Sliced Thick or Thin Spawns Unique Recipe Ideas for this Italian Classic

In a January 2011 CBS “Early Show” cooking segment, contributor Katie Lee called Chicken Parmigiana “one of those perfect comfort foods most people love.”

With that in mind, Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson, one of the nation’s oldest and most well- known purveyors of premium deli meats and artisan cheeses, has developed a unique Chicken Parmigiana item for service delis that is the first of its kind.

It is made from fresh, extra lean chicken breast coated and cooked in corn flour crumbs with aged parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and topped with a tangy marinara sauce.

“My mom always loved making Chicken Parmigiana when we were growing up, and so many people love it that we decided to create a Chicken Parmigiana deli item,” said Louis Eni, Dietz & Watson President & CEO. “We’re still a family company after nearly 75 years, and we still develop new items with that family feel in mind.”

Louis Eni’s mom is Ruth Dietz Eni, company chairman and affectionately known as Momma Dietz. A University of Pennsylvania graduate and a working mom before there really was such a thing, Ruth loved to come home after a busy day and cook special meals for her kids, whose palates are every bit as finicky as hers. Today, her kids are grown, and Louis, Chris and Cindy work side-by-side to help her run the company as CEO, COO and CFO, respectively, along with two of her grandchildren, Lauren Eni and Christopher Yingling.

“When we developed this new item, we wanted it to taste just like the Chicken Parmigiana you make from scratch, and using fresh, whole chicken breasts, natural Italian spices, real aged Parmesan cheese and a wonderful corn flour crumb coating, we couldn’t go wrong,” said Momma Dietz. “After we perfected the product, the next step was coming up with some great, easy to prepare recipes, and we came up with some real winners.”

ABOUT DIETZ & WATSON

Founded in 1939 by Gottlieb Dietz, Dietz & Watson remains true to the original old-world recipes and Gottlieb’s commitment to “quality above all”. Creating the freshest and leanest beef, ham, pork, turkey breast, and chicken breast, Dietz & Watson’s products are enhanced with all-natural spices and seasonings for increased flavor.  In addition to the natural seasonings and spices, all of their products are free of artificial flavors, colors, fillers, extenders and MSG. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Dietz & Watson continues their tradition of family and their commitment to expecting the best. Under the lead of Gottlieb Dietz’s daughter, Ruth Dietz Eni (Chairman), Dietz and Watson continues to lead the industry in Premium Deli Meats and Artisan Cheeses. In addition to the guidance from Ruth Dietz Eni, the company is lead by founder Gottlieb Dietz grandchildren, Louis Eni (President and CEO), Chris Eni (COO), Cindy Eni Yingling (CFO) and now the fourth generation, Lauren Eni and Christopher Yingling have joined to company to carry the tradition further.

www.DietzAndWatson.com.

Product Profile: Momma Dietz Chicken Parmigiana

    Gluten Free    No MSG    Nitrite Free

Momma Dietz’ Chicken Parmigiana, made from succulent, extra lean chicken breast coated & cooked in corn flour crumbs, aged parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings and topped with a tangy marinara sauce. Now that’s Italian!

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of Sugar, Salt, Parmesan Cheese ([Milk, Salt, Cheese Culture, Enzyme], Whey, Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid), Isolated Soy Protein, Natural Flavors, Sodium Phosphate, Yeast Extract, Whey Butter, Modified Corn Starch, Buttermilk Solids, Cream And Butter Extract, Maltodextrin. Coated With: Corn Flour, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Egg Whites, Leavening (Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Natural Flavors, Paprika, Browned In Canola Oil. Topped With: Tomatoes, Corn Oil, Salt, Natural Flavors, Parmesan Cheese([ Milk, Salt, Cheese Culture, Enzyme)], Whey Disodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid) Whey Powder, Sugar, Salt, Lactic Acid, Water, Gelatin.

Classic Chicken Parmigiana Dinner

Serves 4

1 ½ pound Dietz & Watson Chicken Parmigiana, sliced into four pieces (6 ounces per serving)

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup flour

2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

1 pound Dietz & Watson mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 tomatoes, sliced

8 ounces pasta, cooked according to package directions

8 ounces tomato or marina sauce

1 bunch fresh basil

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.    Pour flour into a shallow pan, and pour breadcrumbs into a separate shallow pan.

3.    To bread the chicken cutlets, dredge chicken Parmesan pieces into flour mixture, coating thoroughly on boat sides. Shake off excess flour.

4.    Dip chicken pieces in egg wash, making sure each piece is coated.

5.    Place chicken pieces in shallow pan with breadcrumbs and pat into breadcrumbs on both sides to cover.

6.    Heat oil in a large pan to 350 degrees. Fry chicken pieces until breading turns golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

7.    Remove and let drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

8.    Put chicken pieces on a baking sheet, layer slices of tomato and fresh basil leaves on top, drizzle with a little marina sauce and top with cheese. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese melts.

9.    Serve with pasta and more sauce, if desired. Garnish with basil.

My Easy Greek/Italian Salad

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained well

juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Make the dressing.  In a food processor, combine lemon juice and dried oregano.   Slowly blend in olive oil.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad.   Mix lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber in a large bowl.   Pour dressing over and toss to coat.

Garlic Bread

1 loaf french bread (Sam’s Club, my pref), sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I use Dorot’s cubed frozen parsley)

1/4 teaspoon salt

butter or margarine (tastes like butter) to spread on sliced bread

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Prepare garlic spread:  Use food processor to combine olive oil, garlic, butter, parsley and salt.  Spread butter or margarine evenly over cut surface, then spread the garlic spread on top.  Bake the bread for 10 minutes until bread is nicely browned on the edges.  Cut the bread into serving pieces.

To complete the memorable celebration…a matching glass of Chardonnay, oh yeah!

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