We LOVE Italian food. We love gooey mozzarella cheese, vibrant, fresh marinara sauce and don't even get us started on the homemade pasta. But two of our favorite dishes have merged together as one at Quality Italian in New York City. We shared the recipe for Chicken Parm Pizzas in our September issue, and now is the time to put it to the test. Does our recipe compare to the original?
I paid a visit to Quality Italian with high expectations and an empty stomach. The restaurant is famous for its namesake Chicken Parmigiana for two, but the appetizers, pastas, meat dishes and drinks are just as high of quality. The funny thing about the chicken parmigiana is that, although you're charged "for two" at $29 per person, the dish could really feed between 4 and 6, depending on your hunger level and other orders. Luckily, I had three hungry guests to keep me company and help me conquer this behemoth pizza hybrid.
Halfway into my first slice, I took a moment to gather my thoughts. I had sampled our Chicken Parm Pizzas straight from the test kitchen a few months ago, but enjoying it in a dimly lit restaurant at a table felt a little different. Like our version, theirs is extremely juicy (thanks to the mix of white and dark ground meat) and flavorful (due to the addition of Italian seasoning) on the inside and crispy on the outside. Covered in a sweet tomato sauce and overrunning with melted cheese, there's really nothing that isn't perfect about this dish. I will say, though, our recipe calls for panko breadcrumbs along with Italian breadcrumbs, which leads to a crispier crust that still feels lighter than air. Quality Italian serves theirs with a simple arugula salad accompanied by a chile-spiked honey, which I took the liberty of dipping my chicken into (no judgment, you have to try it).
My advice to you: Go home and make this recipe immediately. It's the perfect dish for a chilly fall evening accompanied by a good beer and good friends. They'll be so impressed and definitely full to the brim. And whatever you do, just make sure to enjoy your high "Quality" meal.