Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recipe 4: Panko

I love chicken. Bonus: my family will eat chicken just about any way I make it. So, chicken is a good investment for us. The trouble is, chicken gets boring. There is really only so much that can be done, because at the end of the day, it tastes like chicken.

Last night, I tried a brand new breading called Panko breading. I saw a commercial for it for the first time last week and then saw it at the grocery store just a few days later, so I decided to give it a try.

So, last night, while Daddy held the new baby, the four-year-old watched a famous alien, and the rest of the family rested, I began my experiment.

Right away, I knew Panko had the potential to be great. The Asian-style breading has large pieces of crisp breading, perfect for extra crunch and no seasoning added. The flavorless base is perfect for me because I get to decide spices. Also, from one bag of Panko, I can have 2-3 full meals that don't all taste exactly the same.

To begin, I heated the oven to 425 and generously coated a broiling pan with cooking spray. Then I was able to move on to the fun part: picking my spices.

I toyed with the idea of adding lemon pepper to the breading mix and spraying a little lemon juice on top of the chicken, but I decided to play with the idea of Parmesan chicken.

I combined:
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Parsley
1 1/2 Panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper (to taste)
in a mixing bowl.

After coating the chicken breasts in eggs, I coated them generously with the Panko and laid them out on the broiling pan. I then topped them with some extra breading for even more crunch and popped them into the oven. Cooking time varies widely on chicken because of oven temps and breast thickness. Last night they took about 20 mins.

While those were cooking, I julienned some fresh carrots and diced white and red onions and a green pepper. Those I just seared on med-high heat in olive oil, salt and a bit of butter. I also added some canned potatoes that I had quartered for a bit more filling food.

I pre-sliced the chicken and portioned out the veggies into each plate (mostly because we were eating in the living room). I placed the chicken on top of the veggies and served up a meal everyone loved.

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