March 2, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

The Gourmet Cookbook

"Chicken Parm" night (Thursdays) at the pub was one of my favorite dining experiences in college. For a very reasonable price, you received a cardboard french-fry tray full of pasta and red sauce (your choice of rotini or spaghetti), a breaded chicken patty topped with more red sauce and some melted cheese, a green iceberg salad, a beverage, and a chocolate-chip cookie. Freshman year in particular, Mary Anne and I would almost always dine at the pub on Thursday evenings, then watch Friends and have a bit of a lazy night when we could afford to. So it was with fond memories that I came across a "Parmesan Chicken" recipe in what is probably my favorite cookbook, and had to give it a try. The chicken had a nice crispy, tasty coating that just goes perfectly with spaghetti and sauce, and was more healthful than the pub's version, I'm sure. I only missed the chocolate-chip cookie for dessert.

3 T Dijon mustard
1 t white wine vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I cut them into smaller pieces for more surface area)
1 1/2 English muffins
3/4 C finely grated parmesan
1 T unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or grease it.

Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 t pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, tossing to coat well.

Pulse English muffins in a food processor until finely ground. Add cheese, butter, and remaining 1/4 t pepper and pulse until well combined. Transfer to a shallow dish or pie plate.

Dredge chicken one piece at a time in crumbs, coating completely and pressing gently so crumbs adhere, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

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