Friday, March 1, 2013

Parmesan Crusted Chicken w/Marinated Tomatoes

Today's been a nice, relaxing day; just what we needed to end the week with. I typically have Fridays off from daycare so I can work on my weekend cake orders, I didn't end up with any orders this week so the hubby and I planned to spend a few hours with our youngest while the older two were at school. We started off by grabbing a few things from the grocery store, browsed the toy store so that she could pick out her birthday present and then ended our morning with lunch at a restaurant.

Isn't she the cutest lunch date ever? Later this evening we're having our niece spend the night, the girls are very excited for their little sleep over to say the least. I've got a good meal planned for them, one heck of a dessert and a killer breakfast for in the morning....oh and lots of fun games for them too!

Last night we enjoyed this amazing meal of parmesan and panko crusted chicken under a bed of fresh spinach and topped with tomatoes marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I separated the kids' plates a bit because I just knew they wouldn't be thrilled with eating a meal presented like this. Instead I compromised and cut their chicken into strips, let them enjoy plain cherry tomatoes, broccoli and fruit. A little more kid-friendly without having to make two different meals, because I'm not about to do that. In the end everyone was happy and I'm okay with that.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken w/Marinated Tomatoes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 c panko crumbs
3/4 c freshly grated or shredded parmesan
1/2 c flour
2 eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for pan
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp butter
Fresh spinach

In a bowl combine tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together and let sit while preparing chicken.

Place chicken breasts one at a time between two sheets of wax paper, using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, pound chicken until 1/4-inch thick. Set aside while you set up your dredging station. In a small bowl add eggs, slightly beaten. To another bowl, add flour. The final bowl, add panko crumbs and parmesan cheese and mix well to combine.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, I usually cut each breast in half to give me a total of 4 pieces.  Coat each piece with flour, then dip into egg until moistened (let excess drip off) and place into panko mixture. Press down lightly so that crumb mixture coats the chicken well.

In a large skillet add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil and let heat until butter is melted. Add in 2 pieces of chicken at a time, let cook for about 6-7 mins. on each side, or until browned and crispy and chicken is cooked through. *If you're finding the chicken is browning too quickly, you can finish cooking off in a preheated 350 degree oven for a few more mins. Place chicken on a plate lined with a paper towel and finish cooking the other 2 pieces of meat. Make sure to add another tbsp of both butter and olive oil to the pan first.

Serve chicken on fresh spinach, top with marinated tomatoes. Drizzle with the extra marinade if desired.

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