Saturday, March 1, 2014

Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Recipe Experience
New Recipe of the Week, Week of 1/20
From: What's for Dinner, Curtis Stone
Find out more

Who doesn't love the idea of a nice Parmesan crusted chicken breast?  This recipe took a little tweaking to make it on the healthy side, but the reason I love this cookbook is Curtis Stone really believes in eating whole, fresh food.  So while he might be a little heavy handed on the oil in his recipes, they still have great bones to work with.  The cookbook is also wonderfully divided into sections for each day of the week.  This one came out of "Family Supper Sundays" which makes sense to me, this is easily a people pleaser!

So it's pretty basic, get chicken breasts to desired size and thickness, dredge and coat. No major revolutions here.  The mixture of panko and parmesan in the breading is what sets this bad boy apart!  I also used whole wheat flour for the first step, just because I can!

healthy girly life: Parmesan crusted chicken
Chicken and a meat pounder, key things here.

healthy girly life: Parmesan crusted chicken
My setup
So the recipe calls for sauteing the chicken, and that just sounded like unnecessary oil for me, since there was already the delicious cheese!  So I opted to try for baking instead.  I sprayed a baking sheet with PAM and laid my chicken pieces out one by one.  I then sprayed the top with just a spritz of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray so it would brown up a bit.

healthy girly life: Parmesan crusted chicken
We made a lot!
Once you get all your chicken laid out on the sheet, just pop it into the oven.  There was a ton of extra breadcrumb/cheese mixture left over, we definitely didn't need to use quite so much for this recipe.  Anyway, around 375 is good and I did about 12 minutes per side because my chickens were still pretty plump.  The trick is definitely to turn them over half way through cooking, it helps get things crispy.  Always make sure to check your chicken is done all the way through before pulling it out, no one wants raw chicken!

We also switched up the side a little bit, because the snow peas looked good at the grocery store.  Still pretty basic, red onions, olive oil and snow peas.  These we did give a quick saute, very easy to do while the chicken bakes!

Delicious finished product!
So with our tweaks and the amount of chicken I used, this recipe made 5 three piece servings at 357 calories each.  The big pile of veggies didn't add too many calories either, so overall while this meal tasted decadent, it still definitely fit the calorie bank!  I didn't find myself missing that buttery sauteed flavor on the chicken, but I was able to enjoy the crisp cheesy coating and nice juicy chicken inside.  Additionally, since there was a significant coating on the chicken, I didn't find myself missing a starchy side.  No rice or pasta needed, just those beautiful greens and it felt like a wonderfully complete meal!

Could you swap out a greasy chicken tender for these?  Let me know what you think!

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