1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 bay leaf
Spices of choice (for a classic béchamel, use 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1. To make the béchamel sauce, warm milk in a small saucepan on low heat until just below boiling. While the milk is heating up, melt the butter in a separate pan. Make a roux by adding the flour slowly to the butter, and cook the flour and butter mixture for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let it brown. Pour in the hot milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until smooth. Add the bay leaf, spices, and herbs (each place will add their own secret ingredients) and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Leave the béchamel sauce to set overnight in the fridge.
2. For the chicken, butterfly the chicken breast and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Dredge the chicken in breadcrumbs and fry in vegetable oil heated to 285°F/140°C for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. Check that the chicken is cooked through by cutting into the thickest part of the breast.
3. Spread the cooled béchamel sauce over the cooked breaded chicken and place briefly under the grill to heat the sauce. Top with cheese, then place back under the grill for a further 4 minutes.
Chef's Tip: Parmos are traditionally served alongside chips, salad, and garlic sauce. This recipe is for a traditional parmo, but there are many variations. -For a chocolate parmo, add ½ packet Rolos and return to the grill until the candy is melted. -For a "Hot Shot" parmo, add jalapeños and pepperoni, return to the grill to heat through, and garnish with hot sauce. -For a chorizo parmo, add chorizo, return to the grill to heat through, and garnish with barbecue sauce.