Monday, March 24, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I don't seem to have cooked a whole lot of chicken recently.  Or perhaps I have, and I just don't realize it.  I pulled chicken breasts out of the freezer to make this, and didn't think that I'd taken chicken breasts out for quite a while.  But whatever...ruminations over what I cook don't have to be out there for the masses.  The point is, I made a new chicken dish.
This is a simple idea with a great sauce that comes together quickly.  I roasted asparagus and made a rice package to round out the meal, and the whole thing took about 30 minutes.  Short enough to make on a weeknight, nice enough to serve to whoever shows up at the table.
Besides that, it's another recipe for the March issue of the Magazine Challenge.  That's 4 recipes this month already.  I may actually make 6 in one month!  From that month's issue!  It's something I aspire to, anyway.
So to recap, good chicken.  And I may actually reach my goal.  Right.  I present to you now from the March 2006 issue of Everyday Food, Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

Ingredients:2 slices sandwich bread, torn in large pieces
1/3 c shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp butter

1.  In a food processor, pulse bread, cheese and salt and pepper until the mixture is in fine crumbs.  Transfer the crumbs to a shallow bowl.  In a second shallow bowl, beat egg lightly. 
2.  Slice through the chicken breasts horizontally, almost completely to butterfly them.  Open and dip first in the egg mixture, followed by the crumb mixture.  Press the crumbs onto the chicken to cover completely on both sides.
3.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet.  Cook breasts, one at a time over medium heat.  Add remaining Tbsp of oil before the second breast. 
4.  Remove skillet from heat, and add 1/4 cup of water to skillet, along with lemon juice.  Return to heat and stir, stirring up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan.  Add mustard and simmer.  Add butter and stir continuously.  Pour sauce over chicken, and serve.

Adapted from Everyday Food, March 2006

I don't have a full food processor (although I told J I would like one in the future), but I do have an attachment for my stick blender - a mini chopper.  Perfect for small amounts of breadcrumbs.  I also had a loaf of fresh bread that was a hostess gift from this past weekend.  I eyeballed a large slice, and used that.
In making this again, I might slice the chicken all the way through and make cutlets, which I would pound to an even thickness for even quicker cooking time.  I managed to cook the breasts through in a reasonable amount of time, but I wondered about the evenness of the cooking.  I was really going for a quick cook, and the most surface area for crumbs.
 I used a grainy Dijon mustard.    I let the water, juice and mustard simmer and reduce before adding the butter.  If you keep stirring with the butter, it all comes together.
The sauce makes the dish, really.  J asked me to make this again soon.  I call it a win.  A good return to cooking chicken!

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