Oven-Fried Chicken Parmesan with Polenta
At times I wonder if my husband is tired of chicken for dinner, he might joke about how we have chicken a lot but is way too nice to tell me to make something else. If you looked back over a month of cooking you would probably find 60-70% of the recipes involve chicken in some way. What can I say, I really like chicken breast.
I think my obsession with chicken began when I was living on my own and had absolutely no desire to cook. Anyone can get out a frozen chicken breast and either put it in the oven to bake or on your George Foreman to grill. Depending on what my side dish was, or if I was even going to be having a side dish, would determine my method of cooking.
This was my dinner most nights of the week if I wasn’t ordering take out or going to my moms for a nice home cooked meal. There are some definite benefits to living near a mom who is a great cook and always happy to have you over.
You will still notice that I am heavy on chicken recipes but now that I am becoming more confident with my cooking skills I can branch out from plain baked chicken and try things that are a little more challenging.
Chicken parmesan always seemed like a really complex recipe, breading chicken shouldn’t be a difficult feat but for some reason for years I was scared to try it. Little did I know that this would become one of my favorite chicken dishes and surprisingly easy.
The thing about this recipe that caught my eye, besides the obvious presence of chicken, was that the chicken is breaded in panko. For any of you who are unfamiliar with panko it is a japanese breadcrumb that is not quite as fine as traditional breadcrumbs. Panko gives the chicken a nice texture and a bit of crunch, I have found that I pretty much use it whenever breadcrumbs are in a recipe.
Night 3 of Cooking Light Week was found in their Dinner Tonight section which has a great new look. Not only do you get a picture, recipe, possible side dishes and tips but also a ‘game plan’. The game plan is great for beginning chefs like me who still struggle with when to make what part of the dish so that everything is ready at the same time. It helps to maximize the time you have so dinner is ready much quicker, which is nice during the week.
The end result with this recipe was a wonderfully juicy chicken breast with crunch complimented with basic polenta and light lemon mustard dressing for a salad. This recipe was definitely a hit especially with my husband who loved the polenta. I will be adding this to my rotation of great recipes for the future.
Oven-Fried Chicken ParmesanCourtesy of Cooking Light Recipe
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup jarred spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3/4 shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish; place egg whites in a bowl. Place panko in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 breast half in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour mixture, egg whites and panko.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Turn chicken over, cook 2 minutes. Coat chicken with cooking spray; place pan in oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; top each breast half with 2 tablespoons sauce, 2 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano, and 3 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake 6 minutes or until chicken is done.
Bring 2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth and 1 cup milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup instant dry polenta. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
Lemon Mustard Salad
Whisk together 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle over your greens of choice and toss well.