Chicken Parma: From Down Under to the World

Chicken Parma

Photo Credit: Jaymis Loveday

Listed as #37 in CNN’s World’s Best Foods is Chicken Parm, Australia. CNN writes, “Melted Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and a peppery, garlicky tomato sauce drizzled over the top of a chicken fillet — Aussie pub-goers claim this ostensibly Italian dish as their own. Since they make it so well, there’s no point in arguing.”

Chicken Parma is a comfort food for many Australians. Maybe, only a natural-born Aussie or someone who have spent a good number of years in the country/continent and a wonderful experience of trying pub foods would understand why Chicken Parma makes such a nostalgic reminder of “home.”  At least this is what you’’ gather when you read Nothing Says Welcome Back To Australia Like A Chicken Parma! posted in Don’t Ever Look Back.

“Speaking with some fellow Aussies … I asked what everyone was looking forward to the most when they got back to Australia.”

“After answers such as “a haircut” and “seeing friends and family”, one answer was consistent from just about every member of the group.”

A chicken parmigiana.

“For those of you who haven’t heard of it, a “chicken Parma” is a chicken schnitzel topped with ham, Napoli sauce and melted tasty cheese typically served with chips (fries) and a salad.”

Chicken Parma Everywhere

One comment in the blog says that it’s unappealing for her being a pescatarian, but Chicken Parma is hard to ignore because it’s sold everywhere. It is something that every visitor must try while in Australia. The best part is enjoying it with a mug/bottle of beer, which is usually offered in the so-called “parma and pot” deals.

This dish is so popular especially in casual dining places and pub houses it has already become a part of the culture Down Under despite its Italian roots. If you are looking for the best Chicken Parma, it will be easy to find one. Ask the locals or use websites that are dedicated to finding the best Chicken Parma in each territory/state.

Where to Find the Best in Melbourne

If you’re visiting Melbourne, you can get a bite of the best pub-style Parma ‘n Chips in five places. According to Lifesyle Food’s Best Parma in Melbourne these are:

  1. The Leveson: This pub offers delicious schnitzels served with shaved ham, crispy fries and rocket salads.
  2. The Collective: The Chicken Parma from this swanky comes with a choice of three kinds of toppings, gluten-free crumb option, and chips with sweet chilli mayo.
  3. Palmerston Hotel: Their version of this pub favorite is a “… crumbed chicken covered in Virginian ham, fine Napoli and melted mozzarella, choose between chips and salad or mash and veggies, no wonder this perennial favourite has a great reputation. Too good!”
  4. The Mint Bar & Bistro: Their Chicken Parma coms with thin fries, salad, cheese and an smooth spread of home-style Napoli. The best part is eating these while sitting outdoors in the sunshiny courtyard or by open fire.
  5. The Skinny Dog: This oldie but goodie place known for their parma size has dropped it by half, but not the quality of the Chicken Parma “with napoli, double smoked ham and mozzarella.”

Satisfying a Craving Away from Down Under

If you’re homesick and missing Chicken Parma, why not give in to your craving. Try this Australian Recipe: Chicken Parmigiana –Simple & Tasty by Cyndi posted in Mademoiselle Slimalicious.  


4x crumbed chicken schnitzels (about 125g each)

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

2/3 cup tomato paste mixed with water

1/3 cup of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Salt and black pepper

100g of grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook schnitzels for 4 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through, adding extra oil if needed. Transfer to a non-stick baking tray.
  2. Mix the basil leaves with tomato paste and water, add salt and pepper to taste
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over each schnitzel. Top with cheese.
  4. Grill for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Serve with a green leaves salad.

If you are not an Aussie, but craving for great foods, try these crumbed, tender pieces of chicken topped with tomato sauce and cheese baked to perfection. It didn’t make the CNN’s list of world’s best foods for nothing.

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