A Brief History of Chicken Parmesan

Chances are, if you’re going out to your local Italian restaurant here in America, you’ll likely come across chicken parmesan somewhere on the menu. While we may be stating the obvious here, this is due to the fact that chicken parmesan is one of the most popular and beloved foods in Italian-American cooking, and there is no doubt about that. While common recipes for chicken parmesan – or chicken parm for short – are relatively simple and straightforward, this food has undergone a number of interpretations and alterations. In today’s blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at the origins and history of chicken parm, including how it got to be so popular here in America. Keep reading below for more!

Its History & Origins

Before it would go on to appear on the menus of countless Italian-inspired eateries across the nation, chicken parm was once the humble idea of Italian immigrants to America. Many historians agree that the dish was inspired by veal parmigiana, which is also known as “Parmigiana di Vitello” in its native Italian language. Much like chicken parm, this dish features a veal cutlet that is simply breaded and coated in different seasonings. While the dish was nothing short of beloved in Italy, eventual Italian immigrants to America were presented with a problem: a lack of veal. In an effort to adapt to the change in surroundings, Italian immigrants would improvise and create what came to be known as chicken parmigiana, given that chicken was more accessible and affordable.

Popularity & Evolution

With a massive wave of Italian immigrants to America, particularly taking place in the 19th century, the then-new chicken parmesan would appear at eateries in cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago, which were all strong hubs of Italian-American culture. The chicken parmesan was far more affordable than its veal counterpart, which helped to increase its popularity, especially among working-class Italian-Americans. Seemingly, ever since then, the popularity of chicken parmesan would show no signs of slowing down.

Enjoy our Chicken Parmesan Here at Rina’s Pizzeria & Cafe

Located in the heart of Boston’s historic North End at 371 Hanover Street, Rina’s Pizzeria is an excellent place to stop for a slice of our famous pizza, or for our delicious chicken parmesan! Give us a call at 617.456.5700 or learn more about our catering services here on our website. We look forward to seeing you here soon, and we’re excited for you to try our outstanding pizza, pasta, and more!

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