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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This is my entry for the What's Cooking? Ingredient Challenge! Parmesan Cheese - Yum! Who doesn't like Parmesan? We were in the process of moving when the challenge was originally posted, so I didn't participate in the voting or even know what the ingredient was until last week. I was super excited to see it was parmesan though, since a few days before I had seen this recipe on America's Test Kitchen and wanted to try it. It was delicious -- thin and crispy, great salty/cheesey taste. So good. There's nothing I would change about it. Since it's America's Test Kitchen, they've already done any variation imaginable and figured out the best flavor combinations, ingredients, seasonings and cooking methods. It's a nice change from a heavy egged/bread crumb version of chicken parmesan.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each), tenderloins removed, breasts trimmed of excess fat and halved horizontally

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon

1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup), see note above

3 large egg whites

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)

6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups) see note above

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 lemon , cut into wedges

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to even 1/4-inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Set wire rack on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together 1/4 cup flour and grated Parmesan cheese in pie plate. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites and chives (if using) together until slightly foamy. In second pie plate, combine 2 cups shredded Parmesan and remaining tablespoon flour.

3. Using tongs and working with 1 cutlet at a time, coat chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer chicken to egg-white mixture; coat evenly and let excess run off. Coat chicken with shredded Parmesan mixture, pressing gently so that cheese adheres. Place on wire rack.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 2 cutlets in skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook until cheese is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes. While chicken is cooking, use thin nonstick spatula to gently separate any cheesy edges that have melted together. Carefully flip cutlets and continue to cook until cheese is pale golden brown on second side and meat is no longer pink in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towel and return to medium heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and cook remaining 2 cutlets. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

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