I first made this recipe months ago, back in the summertime. I had a nice photo all lined up, pressed the button to take the picture and my camera battery died. I was very disappointed – especially when I tasted how fantastic it was! This is a recipe that REALLY needed to be shared. I have made it many, many times since then but for one reason or another never remembered to blog about it. Last week I decided it was finally time, it was unfair of me to deprive you for so long. This is an absolutely awesome dinner, and even more awesome when you realize how simple it is to make.
Technically this is “lighter chicken Parmesan” because you do not fry the chicken at all before baking, as with the traditional version. However, I vastly prefer this to my old classic recipe. I will not be making that again. The panko breadcrumbs provide just the right amount of crispness, the chicken is perfectly cooked through, and the coating has fantastic flavor. The only thing that makes it better is some chopped fresh basil on top, but sadly my herb garden is out of commission for the winter and our store didn’t have fresh basil when I was shopping (gasp!) Served over a bed of angel hair and with a side Caesar salad, it is one of my favorite meals.
Recipe Rewind: tried and true favorites I’ve made recently
Honey Yeast Rolls
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tbsp. water
vegetable cooking spray
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut into halves (4 pieces total)
2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Combine the breadcrumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat until golden, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and allow to cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.
In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish whisk together the egg whites and water.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each chicken piece in the flour to coat completely, shaking off the excess. Then dip into the egg whites and finally coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere. Place the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the chicken is no longer pink and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce over the top of each piece of chicken and top with 2 tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve as desired, with extra Parmesan and marinara sauce.
Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Cook’s Illustrated, October 2006