Sunday, May 18, 2008
parmesan crusted chicken
i've tried several recipes for this dish over the years and they all lacked a little something. most are made with bread or breadcrumbs mixed into the cheese, which admittedly cuts down on the fat, but just adds empty carbohydrates in it's place. some use only cheese, but to get a good crust you have to use a ton of the grated goodness...which isn't healthy either. in general most expect the parmesan to do all the work, not giving it any friends to share the stage with in the flavor department.
this version, however, is packed with herbs and other flavors, all of which allow parmesan to maintain it's starring role.
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup very finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
preheat the oven to 375 degrees. mix the thyme, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the mustard, and the vinegar together in a small bowl. clean and dry the chicken breasts and trim of any unwanted fat. put 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet and move around with your fingers to coat it. place the chicken on the baking sheet and then add a little salt and pepper to the top of the breast. spread the mustard mixture on to of the chicken breast and then move onto the cheese. the trick here is to use a microplane to grate the cheese, because you'll need a lot less of it, but it will still coat the top of the breast. grate just enough to cover it, and then sprinke on top of the mustard mixture. cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. enjoy!
this dish sees a lot of action in my kitchen because it's fast, easy, and satisfying...so I knew I had to share. I usually pair it with a potato of some sort and a nice crisp vegetable on the side. Even kids like this one...so feel free to double the recipe and make some for the little ones.