My kitchen has been full of a few too many sweets lately, so I promised myself I would concentrate a little harder on our nightly meals than on daily treats. And I've also been thinking, if my kitchen renovation is actually going to happen this spring, I need to start organizing my freezer so I can fill it with prepared meals. It's slowly sinking in what I will need to do aside from locating and ordering all of the materials needed for the remodel. I usually keep a good supply of boneless chicken breasts in the freezer and yesterday I decided to start clearing out, and use some of them for one of my daughter's favorite meals -- breaded chicken with Parmesan, or as my daughter calls it, "Chicken Parm".
I plan on one large chicken breast per person. I cut each breast in half and gently pound each piece between plastic wrap to a 1/2-inch thickness. Place 3 shallow bowls on your work surface and fill the first with flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper, the second bowl with beaten eggs (I use approximately 1 egg per 4 pieces of chicken), and in the third bowl, fresh bread crumbs with grated Parmesan (about 3 to 1). With a fork, take one piece of chicken and toss to coat in the first bowl filled with flour. Shake off excess flour and drop into the bowl with the beaten eggs; turn chicken to coat evenly, letting excess egg drip back into the bowl and place in the third bowl of bread crumbs and Parmesan. Turn and coat the chicken with the crumbs and lay on a large plate, or better yet, a wire rack. The wire rack will allow the chicken to dry out somewhat on top and bottom before cooking. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces making sure they are in a single layer when placed on the plate or wire rack. When finished, transfer plate/rack to the refrigerator and leave there, uncovered, until ready to use. Pour a little canola oil into a large cast iron skillet or non-stick fry pan and heat. Add several pieces of the chicken and over medium-low heat, cook chicken until done, browning on both sides. Keep cooked chicken on a plate in a 200˚F oven while browning the remaining chicken pieces. When ready to serve, plate the chicken and top with a salad of greens that has been tossed with the lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows); sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.
• The juice of 1 1/2 lemons
• 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 3/4 cup canola oil
1. Mix lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. Let the mixture stand, at room temperature, for approximately 3 hours before using.
2. Toss with salad greens.