Sunday, 29 April 2012

Fakeaway 2: The Teesside "Parmo"

Should you ever find yourself wandering the mean streets of Middlesbrough you might notice something a little bit peculiar. The chip shops (of which there are many) all advertise the sale of Parmesan. I couldn't work it out at all the first time I came across it. Why would you put Parmesan on fish and chips? Or was it some kind of deep fried cheese dish?

The first thing to know is that Parmesan is actually pronounced Parmo (I made this mistake so you don't have to my friends). And the second thing to know is that a Parmesan is actually breaded chicken, fried and then topped with b├ęchamel sauce.

I've been wanting to try and recreate this at home for a while now. The feedback from the Boro native was that it might not be 100% authentic (not enough grease I suspect) but it was exceptionally tasty.

Serve your Parmesan with oven chips and a sharp little salad of cherry tomatoes dressed in balsamic vinegar.


2 skinless chicken breasts
1 slice of bread from a medium white loaf
10g Parmesan, finely grated
Tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp crushed dried chillies
1 egg white
10g butter
10g plus 1/2 tsp flour
200ml skimmed milk
35g Cheddar, grated
Scant tsp of mustard

Serves 2, 10 pro points per portion

First, bread your chicken. Under a sheet of clingfilm, pound out the fillets until they are roughly a centimetre thick all over.

Make the breadcrumbs mixture by blitzing up the bread and combining with the thyme, chilli and half the Parmesan plus seasoning.

Sprinkle the chicken with the half teaspoon of flour then dip in the egg white and then the breadcrumbs. Turn the fillets several time in the crumbs, patting the crust on firmly. Leave the fillets in the fridge for half an hour or so to firm up.

Meanwhile, make the b├ęchamel. Melt the butter over a low heat and add the remaining flour. Now add the milk, little by little, stirring briskly to ensure no lumps. When all the milk is incorporated and the sauce is smooth, season and stir through the mustard, the Cheddar and the rest of the Parmesan.

Preheat the oven to 200. Now, in a non stick pan over a medium high heat pan fry the chicken for a couple of minutes on each side then transfer to an oven proof dish and spoon over the cheese sauce. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is browned and bubbling.

Serve and eat while reflecting on the vagaries of language.


  1. this sounds incredible! I can't believe that you can get it from a chippy!!

    1. Ah, but there in Edinburgh you can get deep
      fried black pudding in the chippies - now that is a thing of beauty :)

  2. I love parmos, have only had homemade before though, never the real deal from boro. I think you can do them with pork too?

    1. Yes, and veal - but chicken is the classic.

  3. I try not to subscribe to cultural cliches but, Middlesbrough and Parmesan is not the first combination one would come up with!!

    Your take on it sounds good but just thinking about the chip shop version is enough to make your arteries clog!

    Lesley xx

  4. Bizarre! But now I'm hungry...


  5. Lesley - this comment made me do one of those unattractive suppressed laugh type snort things when I read it. I try and be sensitive about all things Boro related (I did marry a Smoggie after all!) but think in his heart of hearts that he would probably agree with you.

    Peridot - strange indeed, but tasty!


  6. Ooooh loving the sound of this!