Friday 2 August 2013

Easy, Tasty Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Every now and then a guilty recipe surfaces, one that is terribly easy yet still tasty and which looks complex enough that you almost feel bad serving it. This is one of those, watch out it might insinuate itself into your routine as a quick recipe for busy nights. This simple parmesan crusted chicken recipe is adapted from the iconic Hellman's recipe that has glided through North American history with what is certainly 70's flair. This recipe came to me through Shannon's grandmother who served it to us one night, and were surprised to find that she was almost ashamed to give it to us! While the original recipe is pretty retro, I've tried to bring it back to basics a bit and throw some old fashioned cooking into the mix by using homemade mayo. As mayo has been around for well over the century that Helman's has existed, being a supposed French invention, I have a nagging suspicion that something similar to this dish likely popped up in Escoffier or Soyer's kitchens some time in the 1800s probably served in a far more fancy fashion! It's a simple concept based on mixing cheese with mayo, coating the chicken to conserve humidity in the meat and then adding a crust of breadcrumbs.Needless to say be it retro or classic, Grandma's or Escoffier's, this recipe is simply tasty!

-1/2 c. Homemade mayo (okok you can use store bought if you MUST just don't tell me about it deal?)
-1/3c. Parmesan, grated (the real stuff, the kind that actually resembles cheese)
-4 Chicken breasts
-1/4 c. Bread crumbs
-1 large clove of garlic, crushed
-Freshly ground black pepper to taste
-Sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425
2) Combine mayo, crushed garlic, rosemary and parmesan, coat chicken and lay in a small baking pan making sure the breasts don't touch (for maximal crispiness).
3) Mix black pepper and bread crumbs and dust the chicken breast with the mixture attempting to form an even coat.
4) Bake for 20 minutes and serve, I accompany it with a tangy ginger chutney or with a sweet and sour salad as pictured, if this recipe becomes a shameful  go to recipe for busy weeknights don't blame me, you were warned!

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