Recipe Share: Russ Crandall’s Chicken Parmesan

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August 11, 2015 by Katie

Follow me on Instagram? Then you know how much I love Russ Crandall’s Paleo Cookbooks. Between The Ancestral Table and Paleo Takeout I get all my global food fixes- from American classics to Asian with everything in between. Russ’ recipes always turn out delicious, are easy to follow, I adore his helpful tips, and I especially like the ingredients he uses. I’ve expanded from the Paleo Diet and now include rice and full fat, grass-fed dairy into my diet. Russ’ books use these ingredients and I really like the flavors they yield. His recipes have opened new doors for me and I’m happy to get away from the orthodox Paleo recipes that only use nuts and coconut milk. I want variety and to be reminded of the delicious comfort foods my mom use to serve…like fried chicken, which by the way Russ has the BEST recipe for! Do yourself a favor and check out these awesome books: Paleo Takeout and The Ancestral Table.

Here’s a recipe from his newest cookbook, Paleo Takeout. Chicken Parmesan is the first recipe I made from his book and it turned out so great I had to share! Enjoy!

Russ Crandall's Chicken Parmesan. Photo from Paleo Takeout.

Russ Crandall’s Chicken Parmesan. Photo from Paleo Takeout.

CHICKEN PARMESAN – from Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall

SERVES: 4  |  PREP TIME: 20 MINS, plus time to make red sauce  |  COOK TIME: 30 MINS

Parmigiana is a method of Italian cooking wherein breaded and fried cutlets are layered in cheese and tomato sauce. Originally made with eggplant (page 246), versions made with breaded chicken and veal cutlets are popular as well. There is some dispute as to where this dish came from; logic would dictate that the northern city of Parma started the craze, but the southern regions Campania and Sicily also stake a claim to this dish. A common misconception is that the dish got its name from the inclusion of Parmesan cheese (despite the fact that mozzarella is the most common cheese used in this dish), but, like Chicken Parmesan, Parmesan cheese is so named because it is produced in the city of Parma.


1 batch Red Sauce (page 279)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs total)


1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp paprika


3 large eggs


1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch

1/4 cup potato starch

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil or parsley

1/2 tsp sea salt


1/4 cup lard, ghee, or expeller-pressed coconut oil

8 oz fresh mozzarella, grated


  1. Heat the sauce over medium-low heat until simmering; reduce the heat to low to keep warm while you prepare the chicken.
  2. Place the chicken flat on a cutting board, then slice each breast in half lengthwise to make 2 thin butterflied cutlets, 8 total. Gently pound with a meat tenderizer to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch, then set aside.
  3. Prepare 3 wide, shallow bowls to bread the cutlets. In the first bowl, combine the dusting ingredients. In the second bowl, beat the eggs. In the third bowl, combine the breading ingredients.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, warm the lard over medium-high heat; you’re looking for an oil temp of 325°F. Once the fat is hot, dust a chicken cutlet in the first bowl, then transfer to the second bowl and cover in egg. Shake off any excess egg, then cover with the breading in the third bowl. Add to the skillet and repeat for however many cutlets you can fit in the skillet at one time (don’t bread the chicken until right before you add it to the fat).
  5. Pan-fry the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a baking sheet. Don’t worry about whether the chicken is cooked through; the oven will finish it off. Add more lard if needed and repeat until all the chicken has been pan-fried.
  6. Spoon the sauce over the cutlets, then sprinkle on the cheese. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 8 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is spotty and golden (watch it like a hawk at this point). Remove from the oven and serve.




*         It is possible to bake the chicken instead of frying it. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack; bread all the cutlets at once using the process outlined in step 4, then place on the wire rack. Bake at 400°F until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes, flipping and brushing with ghee or coconut oil after 10 minutes. Remove the wire rack, add the sauce and cheese, and bake until the cheese has melted, about 6 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes or until the cheese is spotty and golden.

*          To make this dish with veal, buy 8 thinly sliced veal chops and proceed to step 3.

         While fresh mozzarella is typically used in this dish, using a harder cheese may be easier for digestion (aged cheese is fermented longer). Or make it dairy-free by using Cashew Cheese (page 246), or omit the cheese altogether!

Here’s the book you’ll find this recipe in:

Enjoy this chicken recipe! I’ll be making it again soon too!



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