The Vital Ingredient Your Chicken Parmesan May Be Missing

Chicken parmesan is the perfect comfort dish — cheesy, saucy, and filling. The classic Italian meal can be found on restaurant menus, on families' dinner tables, and in the grocery store's frozen food aisle. While some restaurants put a good foot forward when serving up a breaded and fried piece of chicken placed next to a bed of pasta and covered with sauce and cheese, most people agree that homemade is best.

However, there are many areas where the home-cooked chicken parmesan might fail to deliver, from a flavorless sauce to a soggy piece of fried chicken. Of course, it's always important to start with the right ingredients. Cafe Delights recommends using chicken breast for the dish, with each piece being of approximately equal size so that they cook evenly. For the cheesy topping, fresh is the way to go, per The Recipe Critic, which recommends a blend of fresh mozzarella and parmesan. 

While some cooks may opt to use a grocery store tomato sauce, many prefer to make their own from fresh tomatoes. In a Food Network recipe, celebrity chef Alton Brown recommends Roma tomatoes and white wine to make a flavorful sauce. 

Perfectly crispy and golden

Now that you have assembled the components for delicious chicken parmesan, you're ready to get cooking. But, did you use an important ingredient that can help you to achieve the chicken parmesan you've been craving? Adding potato starch to the breading for the chicken will help to make the crust crispy, because after all, who wants to bite into a soggy and limp piece of chicken?

Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, chefs and co-owners of Michelin-starred Don Angie in New York City, shared with Food & Wine how they add potato starch to the crust of their chicken parmesan. According to the duo, potato starch helps the chicken stay crispy during the cooking process. The reason potato starch is a great addition to baked goods (not just chicken parmesan, but think cookies and crackers), according to Serious Eats is because it helps to create a crispier baked good. 

However, make sure you don't overuse potato starch. Serious Eats cautions that if too much is added to what you are making then the finished product can be dry and crumbly. Adding potato starch to a breading for an item, such as chicken or fish, according to Medical News Today, can help the crust to not only be crispy, but golden when fried. Next time you are craving some Italian comfort food, don't forget to add potato starch to the breading for your chicken parmesan so you bite into some crunchy, golden goodness.