We’re freshly back from a 4000 mile trip to see friends and relatives in Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. That’s 4000 miles driving. Y’know, I just couldn’t bring myself to blog. I had some blogging ideas, like something about the snack foods I selected to munch on while we travelled, but decided to spend my time with our friends instead. Time well spent! I may get around to blogging my ideas….or not!
So. We’re back and there’s not much in the house to cook. I had some frozen chicken, frozen pesto, potatoes that needed to be dealt with and some nice, sharp pecorino romano….how ’bout a chicken parmesan-y thing with pesto instead of tomato sauce along with some pesto mashers?! Yup, just the thing. A way to feed three people with just two chicken breasts.
I gathered up a few things:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 4-6 slices of a sharp, hard cheese–like pecorino romano or parmesano reggiano
- 1/2 cup pesto (This is a parsley-walnut pesto made using my basil pesto recipe, subbing parsley for basil, walnuts for pine nuts. Find the recipe at the end of this post.)
- 1/2-1 cup bread crumbs, I like Panko
- 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut chicken breasts in half. One at a time, place each half in a ziploc bag and pound until a uniform thickness of approximately 1/4 inch is achieved. I have a wooden meat pounder thingie, but you could use a rolling pin or can of soup or a skillet. (Or any not-terribly-heavy, hard object….get creative!)
Set up a breading station of shallow bowls, large enough in diameter to accomodate the chicken. Add milk to the one farthest from your fry pan, then flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs in the bowl closest to the fry pan.
Place the fry pan over medium high heat and add 1 TBSP each olive oil and butter. Wait until butter is melted. Dip a pounded breast into the milk, then flour–shaking off excess, then egg and finally bread crumbs. Gently lay in the fry pan, and repeat with another breast. Be careful to not overcrowd the pan to achieve a nice golden crispiness. Work in batches if needed.
Remove cooked chicken to a plate lined with paper towels until all is cooked. Place about half of the pesto in the bottom of a baking dish large enough to bake all the chicken pieces. Add chicken breasts on top, then the rest of the pesto and cheese slices. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese gets melty and the chicken absorbs the yummy pesto flavors. I added a bit of mozzerella at the end of the baking time (the romano wasn’t giving me the melty quality I was after) and baked for a wee bit longer–until it melted.
Serve hot with some yummy pesto mashers (recipe soon!), garnish with some fresh-from-the-garden parsley to make it pretty, and wait for the compliments. Oh yeah, there will be compliments. Don’t even think about having leftovers.
Yummy! Double the batch for leftovers–I’m thinking this chicken would make a killer sandwich…with a tomato…and a crunchy lettuce leaf….maybe a schmear of mayo…mmmmmm!
I’m using my new phone to take pictures now. Do you notice a difference? The camera takes pics in portrait…I’m kinda liking being able to stack two side-by-side. I’m looking forward to learning this new camera and seeing what sorts of things it will do.