Parmesan-crusted chicken has quickly become a popular dish among food enthusiasts seeking new ways to enjoy their favorite protein source. This delightful meal combines the tender juiciness of chicken with the savory flavor and appealing crunch of a Parmesan cheese crust. Not only does this enticing entrée satisfy taste buds, but it also offers a nutritious choice for meal planning, with its high-quality proteins and relatively low fat content.
Preparing this delicious creation is simple and can be modified for different tastes and preferences. The ingredients are readily available, and the recipe does not require extensive culinary skills. The versatility of the dish allows it to be paired with a wide range of side dishes and sauces, making it suitable for any type of dining occasion. This versatile meal can also be easily adjusted to accommodate dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or low-carb alternatives, while maintaining its signature taste and texture.
Choosing the Best Ingredients
When selecting chicken for parmesan crusted chicken, choose boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They cook evenly and quickly, which is essential for the dish. Make sure the chicken breasts are of similar size and thickness for uniform cooking. It’s best to use fresh chicken, but if using frozen, ensure that it is fully thawed and patted dry with a paper towel before cooking.
Parmesan Cheese Type
Selecting the right parmesan cheese is crucial for a delicious parmesan crusted chicken. Go for grated, high-quality, aged parmesan cheese. Aged parmesan, with a sharp and nutty taste, adds depth to the dish. Avoid using pre-grated parmesan from a can, as it lacks the rich flavor of freshly grated cheese.
Breadcrumbs serve as a crunchy coating for the chicken. When choosing breadcrumbs, consider the following options:
- Traditional breadcrumbs: Made from dried bread, these are ideal for a classic parmesan crusted chicken. Go for seasoned breadcrumbs if you want some extra flavor in the crust.
- Panko breadcrumbs: A Japanese-style breadcrumb, panko offers a lighter, flakier texture. This option results in a crispy coating, perfect for modern variations of the dish.
Feel free to mix the two types or add your preferred seasonings for a customized breadcrumb blend.
Preparing the Chicken
Flattening the Chicken Breasts
To prepare the chicken breasts, begin by selecting boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Flattening the chicken breasts ensures even cooking and helps the parmesan crust stick effectively. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken breasts until they are about ¼-inch thick. Take care not to tear the meat during this process, applying even pressure to maintain a uniform thickness. If you do not have a meat mallet, a heavy skillet or rolling pin can work as a substitute.
Seasoning the Chicken
Once the chicken breasts are appropriately flattened, it’s time to season them. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This will help the seasoning adhere better to the meat’s surface. Generously season both sides of each chicken breast with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Doing so adds to the overall flavor of the dish and complements the parmesan crust.
Using kosher salt is particularly beneficial in this recipe, as its coarse texture clings well to the surface of the chicken and evenly distributes flavor. Remember to season the chicken breasts thoroughly, but be mindful not to over-salt, as the parmesan crust will also contribute to the final flavor of the dish.
Making the Parmesan Crust
Combining Ingredients for the Crust
To make the Parmesan crust for your chicken, begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients. You will need the following:
- Grated Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
- Panko bread crumbs (for added crunch)
- Melted butter (to help the crust adhere)
- Olive oil (for additional flavor)
- Garlic powder (to taste)
- Salt and black pepper (for seasoning)
- Oregano and parsley (optional, for more depth of flavor)
- Lemon juice (to create a balanced flavor profile)
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the grated Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, melted butter, and olive oil. Stir until the mixture is well combined and resembles a coarse crumb texture.
Next, season the mixture with garlic powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, parsley, and a splash of lemon juice to create a flavorsome crust. Mix well to ensure all elements are evenly distributed.
Applying the Crust on Chicken
Before applying the crust, prepare the chicken by seasoning it with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish, prepare two separate coatings – all-purpose flour and a beaten egg mixture. The flour coating will help the egg adhere to the chicken, while the egg will bind the crust to the chicken.
Coat each chicken piece in the flour, dusting off any excess. Then, dip the chicken into the beaten egg mixture, ensuring all sides are coated evenly. Finally, press the chicken into the Parmesan crust mixture, making sure to cover the entire surface of the chicken.
Repeat this process for each chicken piece and place them onto a baking sheet or dish. Drizzle any remaining melted butter or olive oil over the chicken to ensure a beautiful golden-brown crust during baking.
With these steps completed, your Parmesan-crusted chicken is ready to be cooked according to your preferred method, such as baking or pan-frying. Enjoy the delicious, crispy crust and tender chicken for a satisfying meal.
Pan-frying is a popular method for cooking parmesan crusted chicken. To start, preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add a thin layer of oil to the pan to prevent the chicken from sticking. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until each side becomes a beautiful golden brown color. Be sure to flip the chicken every 4-5 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken, but the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
Baking is another method for preparing parmesan crusted chicken. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it to minimize sticking. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Make sure the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. Baking allows the chicken to cook more evenly, resulting in a moist and tender parmesan crusted dish.
For a quick and effective way to cook parmesan crusted chicken, try using your oven’s broil setting. To broil, preheat your oven to the broil setting and adjust the oven rack to the top position. Place the chicken on a broiler-safe dish or baking sheet. Broil the chicken for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until the top becomes golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Be cautious while broiling, as it can easily overcook the chicken if not monitored closely.
When it comes to pairing Parmesan crusted chicken with the perfect side dish, the possibilities are endless. A simple yet delightful option would be to serve this scrumptious chicken dish alongside a warm bowl of spaghetti or your favorite pasta. The noodles’ smooth texture complements the crispy crust and juicy interior of the chicken.
For a healthier alternative, consider a light chicken piccata with a side of steamed vegetables or a green salad. Mashed potatoes are also an excellent choice, adding comfort and heartiness to the meal.
Garnishing a Parmesan crusted chicken dish not only enhances its visual appeal but also adds more flavor and freshness to the plate. A few popular garnishing options to elevate this dish include:
- Lemon wedges: Adding a citrus accent to the chicken can brighten up the flavors and contrast the rich, cheesy crust. Guests can squeeze the lemon wedges over their chicken for a personalized taste experience.
- Basil: For an aromatic and herbaceous touch, sprinkle freshly chopped basil over the dish. The basil’s sweet and savory notes perfectly balance the Parmesan crust and the tender chicken.
- Mozzarella: For a nod to chicken parmesan, top the dish with thinly sliced mozzarella that will melt gently over the hot chicken, keeping it moist and creamy.
Remember, when serving Parmesan crusted chicken, a properly cooked dish with a crispy exterior and a juicy interior will impress your guests without needing any further embellishment. Pairing it with simple side dishes and tasteful garnishes will only enhance its deliciousness and make for an unforgettable meal.
Per Serving Breakdown
Parmesan crusted chicken is a delicious and satisfying meal that offers a balance of nutrients. As a protein-rich dish, it can be a healthy choice when prepared thoughtfully. The following nutritional information is based on a single serving of parmesan crusted chicken.
- Calories: Approximately 350 calories
- Total Fat: 15 grams
- Saturated Fat: 5 grams
- Cholesterol: 100 milligrams
- Sodium: 300 milligrams
- Carbohydrate: 15 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Protein: 35 grams
In addition to the macronutrients, parmesan crusted chicken also contains essential vitamins and minerals:
- Calcium: Approximately 200 milligrams, which is crucial for strong bones and teeth
- Iron: Around 1.5 milligrams, which helps promote red blood cell production
- Potassium: An estimated 400 milligrams, which supports proper muscle and nerve function
Please note that percentages for daily values may vary depending on individual needs and recommended dietary allowances. Cooking methods, such as using cooking spray instead of oil, can impact the nutritional information.
When making parmesan crusted chicken, be mindful of the ingredients used to ensure a well-balanced meal. For those looking to reduce fat content, opt for leaner cuts of chicken and consider using reduced-fat parmesan cheese. Additionally, incorporating whole-grain breadcrumbs can increase the fiber content of the dish. With these simple tweaks, parmesan crusted chicken can be both delicious and nutritious.
Customization and Variations
Experimenting with Herbs and Spices
A great way to customize your parmesan crusted chicken is by experimenting with various herbs and spices. Incorporating oregano or thyme into the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture can enhance the flavors in the dish. Feel free to mix and match various herbs, such as basil, rosemary, or even tarragon, to create a unique blend that suits your palate. Make sure to share your favorite combinations on Instagram or Pinterest to inspire others.
Different Cheese Options
While parmesan cheese is the classic choice for this recipe, you can easily try other cheese options for a delicious twist. Some alternatives include:
- Pecorino Romano: A slightly sharper and saltier cheese compared to parmesan
- Grana Padano: Mild and subtle, with a similar texture to parmesan
- Asiago: A nutty and buttery cheese with a touch of sweetness
Experimenting with these various cheeses can yield spectacular results that you might even consider being the best chicken parmesan you’ve ever tasted!
Alternative Protein Options
If you wish to explore different protein options aside from chicken, several choices work well with a parmesan crust:
|Turkey||Lean and mild in flavor, an excellent alternative to chicken|
|Veal||Tender and delicate meat that pairs well with parmesan|
|Pork||Boneless pork chops can provide a richer, more flavorful dish|
|Fish||White fish like cod or halibut can be crusted with parmesan for a delicious seafood twist|
Remember to adjust your cooking times accordingly, as different proteins may require more or less time in the oven compared to chicken.
This parmesan crusted chicken recipe is a quick and easy solution for a delicious weeknight dinner. Offering a flavorful, crispy crust that is sure to delight your taste buds, this is a dish that makes it to the top of many chicken recipes list.
To make parmesan crusted chicken, simply ensure you have the right ingredients and the appropriate baking dish. By following the instructions, you’ll have a fantastic meal ready in no time. The versatility of this dish makes it adaptable for various tastes and dietary preferences, making it a favorite among many households.
In the end, this chicken recipe not only boasts a delectable, crispy crust but also promises a satisfying and straightforward dinner solution for busy weeknights. Give it a try and watch it become a staple in your meal rotation.
How to Steam Crab Legs
- Frozen crab legs
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- Melted butter or dash of virgin olive oil
- Lemon wedges
- First, pour two cups of water into the steamer and bring to the boil.
- Then, place your crab legs inside the steamer basket and wait for water to boil.
- Once the water is boiling, place the steamer basket with the crab legs inside the steamer and set the timer for about 7 minutes.
- Check that the crab legs are cooked by touching them, and if they are hot to the touch and smelling delicious, then they are ready.
- When ready, remove the crab legs from the steamer, and place them on a plate.
- Add some melted butter or extra virgin olive oil with a squeeze of a lemon wedge to serve, or top with garlic butter.