Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

The Cheese Whisperer: Grana Padano Recipe


Hunks of tasty Grana Padano!

Gear up your taste buds to welcome a recent arrival in the cheese department – authentic Italian Grana Padano. A younger cousin of Parmigiano Reggiano-style, this complex curd is made from raw cow’s milk and is the most widely consumed cheese in Italy.

Grana Padano has a hardy, grainy and dry texture with a nutty and moderate tangy bite that makes it useful in the kitchen in a number of ways. This versatile cheese is available right now for a limited time at the Co-op for $8.99 per lb, less than half the price of authentic Parmigiano Reggiano. So hurry now to enjoy a chunk or two of this delicious high quality cheese!

Add flavor by grating Grana Padano over steamed vegetables, pasta, salad or soups. Enjoy sliced thinly with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and seasonal tomatoes, or try using it in the following recipe.

The legend of Grana Padano begins over 900 years ago. It was originally created by the Cistercian monks of Chiaravalle Abbey near Milan in northern Italy. To preserve the excellent flavor and quality of the cheese, it is still made in the same way (aside from modern cheese warming and cooling vats): skimmed fresh cow’s milk is cooked, pressed and aged for at least 15 months. This tightly regulated cheesemaking process, regulated under the Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP), ensures the authenticity and quality of regional food products.

Pan Fried Chicken with Grana Padano


  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 tbsp. freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste


  1. Cut the chicken in half to make 8 thin pieces and dust very lightly in flour.
  2. Crack the egg into a bowl along with 1 tbsp. filtered water. Add freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of sea salt and mix well.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Mix the cheese and thyme together on a plate.
  4. Dip the chicken first in the egg mixture, then coat in the Grana Padano mixture. Fry in 2 batches, adding the remaining oil with the second batch, until crisp and golden. It should take about 5 minutes each side, but don’t lift or turn the chicken too soon or the crust might stick to the bottom of the pan. Garnish with thyme.

Serve with steamed or mashed vegetables and fresh lemon wedges. Pair with a Chardonnay or Riesling white wine.

Posted by Claire

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.