Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parmesan Chicken

Sometimes my recipes come from being creative with the limited food in my fridge and pantry. Sometimes I see a recipe and think, "I can do better than that!". Sometimes I take a good recipe and challenge myself to make it better. This chicken recipe is in that third category! The original looked really good, and I intended to make it as-is, but naturally, I put my own twist on it.

I bought boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.77 per pound at Kroger on Friday. Since they were pretty big, I decided to cut them in half, making two cutlets out of each breast. I placed 4 cutlets in each quart-sized freezer bag, then poured the marinade over them. One bag went in the fridge for dinner and one bag went into the freezer for another night. When I mixed the bread crumbs and Parmesan, I used half for dinner and put the other half in a freezer bag, in the freezer to use with the other chicken. Two meals, one prep time! This recipe is for the full amount of chicken, and you can divide it like I did if you don't need 8 pieces of chicken.

Parmesan Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, or 2 teaspoons dried herbs (I used parsley, oregano and rosemary)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used whole wheat bread in the food processor)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan

In a small sauce pan, combine the herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat gently on low for 3-4 minutes. You just want to get the flavors infused into the oil, you're not cooking it really. Remove from heat. Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts cross-wise into cutlets. (This works best if the chicken is partially frozen.) Place the chicken in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over it. Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours, or overnight.

Remove the chicken from the fridge, and preheat the oven to 375°. In a shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan. Press both sides of each cutlet into the crumb mixture and place in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, flip them over, and bake for 10 more minutes until the juices run clear. Don't overbake it!

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