Sunday, January 22, 2012

Parmesan-Crusted Lemon Chicken

For the first time in the 52 week cooking challenge, I felt pushed out of my comfort zone. Maybe even shoved, unwillingly, out of my CZ. This week, challengers were encouraged to try a little pan-frying. Not only do I get nervous when I have to cook something on my stainless steal pans, but cooking chicken drives me bonkers. I hate having to cut into the chicken breasts, and even when I do, I'm never 100% confident in their doneness.

It wasn't until I found this recipe that I began to feel excited about pan-frying. I had similar chicken in Costa Rica, and my host mom made it look like it was so easy to do! Even after having watched her, I still could not cook it as effortlessly as she did.

The flavor in this chicken was pleasant, but after pairing it with couscous (for me), and rice pilaf (for the anti-couscous boyfriend), the meal still felt like it was lacking something (besides the fact that we didn't have any vegetables). I'm realizing that I like my foods to be saucy, (think enchiladas, and curries), rather than "dry" (like pork chops, or fish fillets).

If you are a fan of lightly breaded chicken breasts, this recipe should not disappoint.

Parmesan-Crusted Lemon Chicken
Adapted from Bon Appetit via Epicurious

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • fresh lemon juice (one lemon)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • grated lemon peel (from half of a lemon)
  • olive oil

Working with a few at a time, place chicken pieces inside sturdy plastic freezer bag and pound to thickness of about 1/2 inch. Place chicken in baking dish. Squeeze lemon over chicken and turn to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.

Beat both of the eggs with in medium bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and lemon peel in shallow dish.

Dip a chicken breast into egg. Dip into breadcrumbs to coat; gently shake off excess. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

Coat the bottom of a heavy large skillet with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add 2 of the chicken pieces to skillet and pan-fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken in 2 more batches, adding olive oil before each batch.

Serve over a salad, or with a side of rice pilaf, or couscous (as seen here).


  1. I agree, that's crying out for a sauce! Normally with Parmesan I immediately think tomato, but with the lemon, that might be too much acid. Garlic-infused bechamel, maybe?

  2. Ooooh! I hadn't thought of a bechamel; can't say I've ever made one, either. I'll definitely keep that in mind!