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Friday, February 5, 2010

Parmesan Panko Crusted Chicken

If you haven't discovered panko bread crumbs yet, find them. In my opinion, they are so much better than regular bread crumbs. Panko bread crumbs are commonly used in Japanese cooking and result in a crunchier coating. They are much lighter and airier than traditional bread crumbs.

When you want to make chicken quickly, butterfly your skinless boneless chicken breasts and pound them to a uniform thickness. By reducing the thickness of the chicken breasts, you can cook them very quickly whjch in general results in a much juicier chicken breast as they tend to dry out much easier with longer cooking times. To make them easier to coat and handle, I also cut these in half to make smaller pieces instead of one large butterflied breast.

I served this chicken with a roasted butternut squash and apple mixture, see the recipe here.

Parmesan Panko Crusted Chicken

3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded/coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Trim any fat from chicken breasts, butterfly, cut in half, and pound to an even thickness, about 1/2" thick. Season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg and add a little salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each). In another bowl or on a plate, combine bread crumbs, cheese, thyme, rosemary, and garlic.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan liberally. Bread the chicken cutlets by first dunking both sides in buttermilk mixture and then coating both sides with bread crumb mixture.

Add to hot pan. Don't overcrowd the pan, a 10" skillet will hold about 4 pieces so you may need to cook it in 2 batches.

Cook about 4-6 minutes on the first side, flipping when the breading is a deep golden brown crust. The second side will cook slightly faster. Line a large plate with paper towels and remove cooked chicken to plate. Cover with foil while you cook the second batch.

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