Parmesan Crusted Chicken
This is a great chicken dish — you can dress it down for a weeknight family dinner or gussy it up for company. My kids love it, I think mostly because it bears some resemblance to chicken fingers.
There are two secrets to success here: First, pounding the chicken breasts to an even 1/4-inch thickness tenderizes the meat and ensures even cooking. Second, a three step breading method ensures the coating adheres to the meat while it cooks, resulting in a flavorful, crispy crust and tender, juicy interior every time. If you’ve tried other breading techniques, I think you’ll be very pleased with the professional quality results you’ll get here.
The fresh herbs are totally optional…use what you have on hand, or none at all. Since I’ve got an herb garden, I use a different blend each time to vary the flavor. (If you have picky eaters – like my daughter, who painstakingly picks every fleck of green off her plate – you can bread a few portions before adding the herbs.)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (I use Progresso)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, chives, or rosemary
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/4-inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Set up three large shallow bowls and a large plate in an assembly line. Put flour in the first bowl; eggs in the second; and mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs in the third.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge first chicken breast in flour; shake off excess until just a light coating remains. Next, dip in egg mixture and turn to coat evenly, letting excess egg drip off. Finally, dredge in bread crumb and Parmesan mixture, turning a few times to coat well. Set aside on plate and repeat until all chicken breasts are breaded.
- Heat both oils in a large saute pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until first side is golden brown. Flip and continue cooking until done, 2-3 minutes longer. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.