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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Random ThursdayThoughts...Parm Crusted Chicken, One (the song), and that Chimichurri Sauce is begging to be poured on everything.

Where to start today? I guess with the food, since that's what we're here for. :) Two nights ago, we had Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette. It's one of our favorites, another tried and true. The recipe is from Ina Garten. I love her recipes! I've never had one fail, and her stuff ranges from "pull out all the stops for guests" to "let's have a bowl of soup, salad and bread for dinner." You can look at the books of hers that I have in my Amazon shop.

It's really simple, too! And you can feel good serving it to guests--it's special enough for company. The chicken is dipped in flour, then egg, then a combination of bread crumbs and fresh grated parm. Try to grate the parm finely, because you want it to stick to the chicken, and mix well with the bread crumbs. The vinaigrette takes maybe two minutes to whip up, and is tossed with the greens at the last second. Then the cool, tangy greens are piled over the warm chicken. The tastes and textures all come together for a delicious dinner.

You can also see it on Canarygirl's blog. Her photos are awesome! And her food, omg, her food is the best! Want to torture yourself with some good food porn? Go check out her site--you won't be sorry!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Lemon Vinaigrette with Fresh Greens

Ina uses arugula, but this is good with any mixed greens or even spinach, as we usually have it.
This serves 6, but usually boneless chicken comes in packs with 3 half breasts (it's like the hot dog/hot dog bun ratio--wtf!),
and I fillet them rather than pounding them out, and I still end up with 6 pieces--good for
leftovers. Less work, faster cooking time, and it doesn't dry out.

Side note on filleting:

I always fillet chicken breasts. They cook faster, so they don't have time to dry out.
Well, I suppose they could, if you really try to overcook them, but
they only need a few minutes per side. If they're thin, 2-3 minutes per
side is good, and if they're thicker, like the kind you get from "new
and improved" mutant-sized chickens, they take about 5-6 minutes per
side. And it's so easy to fillet them, too! Just put your chicken on a
cutting board, get a good sharp fillet knife, and place your palm over
the chicken breast, like the way you're supposed to cut a bagel but no
one ever does? "Hello? 911? Bagel emergency! But please stop off first
and get me a new bagel...I seem to have ruined this one..." So you've
put your palm over the top, and then you slice the breast horizontally
from the thick end of the breast, to the thin one. See? Easy, and
injury free!

Back to the recipe!

1/2 lb fresh arugula (3 large bunches) OR greens of your choice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 lb chunk of parmesan
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 extra large eggs
1 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parm cheese
1 Tbs butter
2-3 Tbs olive oil

Wash and dry your greens.
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.
Set aside to toss with greens right before serving.
That couldn't be any easier, right? Now on to the chicken...
Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Pound the chicken, or fillet it like I mentioned above. (this is really
important for fast cooking and juicy chicken.)
Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tbsp water.
On a second plate, combine the bread crumbs and parm.

Dredge the chicken in the flour, dip in the egg, and then dredge in the
crumb/parm mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the chicken for 3-4
minutes on one side, depending on thickness, then turn and do the same (3-4
minutes) on second side until no longer pink and nicely golden brown.
Toss the salad greens with enough vinaigrette to coat them, add more if you
Place chicken on dinner plate, then place a mound of salad over each chicken
breast. Shave some parm with a vegetable peeler over the greens and serve immediately.

Up Next--One, the song...

I'm a kid of the 80's. Yep, the big hair, the funky colors, the music, the movies...I loved it all. I still love U2! They've been around almost forever, haven't they? They have great lyrics, amazing songs...they are just timeless. Anyway, their song "One." Great song, right? Did you ever hear Mary J. Blige cover it? I saw her do it live on some show. Gave me goosebumps. Really! It's on her album The Breakthrough. I didn't even know they did a version of it together! And where did I first hear it? Are you ready?

In the grocery store! hahaha!! My grocery store plays the best music! Except when they try to sneak an Ashlee Simpson song in to cause my ears to bleed. ugh.

I urge you, no--I'm telling all of you to go to whatever music service you use and download the song. Right now. You won't regret it. The Amazon clip is so short. I'm listening to it right now and getting goosebumps again, hehe. SO good. And how gorgeous is Mary?

And finally, Zen's Freaking Chimichurri Sauce...

I posted about it here.

And you can see it on his site, too. Check out his blog! Great food, and funny stories. He's very entertaining!

The's addictive. Two nights ago, we had the parm crusted chicken, right? Delicious as is, but I happened to have some more chimichurri in the fridge, because we've been having it on pork chops, too, which we have at least once a week (use the same rub that you use on the steak). I was thinking I'd put some it on my chicken, and my husband comes in and says "HEY! Let's put some chimichurri on the chicken!" We are of one mind, I'm telling you. Except when it comes to 70's cop movies. Blech. He can have them. I'll read instead., hehe.

The chicken went from delicious to sublime! This is one recipe I'll have in rotation all the time. The rub and chimichurri sauce are made from simple, everyday ingredients that you can easily get, at any time. I can't wait to start grilling so we can put it on more stuff! Thanks, Zen! muac!

Hey, I just checked! It's 62° (about 16 C, i think?) --we're having a heatwave, hehe!

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Ben said...

Oh, I think I just had a vision of paradise. Hehehe. This looks delicious, I am bookmarking it right away :)

Deborah said...

I don't know where to start! Ok, first the chicken - yum! I usually fillet the breasts as well, for the very reasons you listed. Second, I haven't heard the song, but I'm going to be looking it up! And I've always wanted to make chimichurri, but haven't. That definitely needs to be added to my "to make next" list - especially with bbq season right around the corner!

RecipeGirl said...

The chicken looks really great. I've not seen Zen's blog so I'll check that one out. Thanks!

April was in CA now MA said...

Thank you so much for posting this one! That sauce looks so tasty I can't wait to try it. I've added Zen's blog to my reader..very entertaining.

Vicarious Foodie said...

I've made this before and I love it. Yours looks delicious! And you're right, Ina's recipes are great.

Anonymous said...

Looks so wonderful. The crispiness of the chicken and the lemon I'm sure are perfect together!

test it comm said...

That looks good! With chicken, parmesan and lemon it sounds nice and tasty. It also sounds pretty easy to make.

Anonymous said...

muaac back at you! ( i hope your husband is closing his eyes! haha)
You're hired as my PR from now on! hahaha

Anonymous said...

Chimichurri sauce is one of my absolute favorites ever. Pour some of that stuff over a few roasted potatoes and life is bliss!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite recipes evaaahhh, Elle! Your photo is gorgeous as always...I love your step by steps. :) Thanks for the mention, too! You are too kind, Elle. Seriously. I love you! :) MUAC!!

giz said...

This recipe has always been one of our tried and true recipes too - I even make it as chicken fingers but I'm now compelled to try it with the chimichurri sauce. Great pictures Elle - you could make cardboard look like a gourmet meal.

Elle said...

Ben--thanks so much! It is delicious, that's for sure!

Deborah--the sauce, it would be great on anything you grill. mmm!


April--you're so welcome!

Vicarious--I do love Ina!

Noble Pig--they do go so well together.

Kevin--it's super easy, but looks and tastes like you really fussed over it.

Zen--deal! You only have to pay me with a steady supply of your recipes. ;)

Lauren--thanks a lot! Now i can't get the image of this on potatoes outta my head! yum!

Cg--love you, too! muac!

Giz--it's a great addition to the chicken. And thanks so much for your very kind words about my photos!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious. You have got panfrying skills - I love the golden crust. Topping everything off with greens makes it all look so fresh and healthy :) Nice work!

Chou said...

I love love love chimichurri on everything. As always, beautiful photos.

creampuff said...

My mouth is watering!

Pixie said...

I did get to see Mary Blige in concert- well sort of- I was in the nose bleed section. So I didn't really see her just heard her- she's so cool.

also, your pics looks great!!!!

and love breaded chicken-I'd have to add a whole lot of sauce to it as hubby can't live w/o it.

Elle said...

Shoplittlegifts--thanks so much! It definitely took some practice to get the pan frying right, hehe.

chou--thank you very much!

creampuff--it has that same effect on me, hehe.

Pixie--how cool that you saw/heard her in concert! That chicken is also really good as chicken parmesan--just make the chicken part, put some of your fave pasta sauce and mozz over and bake to heat the sauce and get the cheese melty. Serve over pasta. mmmm!

Thanks everyone, for the nice comments on my pics. It's truly appreciated!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Elle your chicken looks wonderful. I love chicken dipped and crumbed. I discovered a really good way recently. Instead of egg, marinade the chicken in a bag of buttermilk. It is truly sublime and less messy. I hope to blog it this week sometime. Wonderful photography as usual

Elle said...

RhyleysGranny--I love chicken marinated in buttermilk! Yogurt, too. I'll be on the lookout for your post.

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