There was a time when we ate chicken at least four times a week. No kidding. My husband, Charlie, got to the point where he stopped saying, “What’s for dinner?” and started saying, “What kind of chicken are we having for dinner?”
For some reason in the past few months, we’ve gotten away from cooking chicken. Maybe once every week or so I’d pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but as far as roasting or broiling or baking or grilling our own chicken – we just weren’t doing it.
Instead, we were having burgers and pork chops and steaks and tacos and pizza. And our waistlines were showing it (not son Patrick’s, of course … he still has an 22-inch waist and a hollow leg).
So last Tuesday, I decided to bake chicken breasts for supper. I went online looking for something we’d never tried before and I found a recipe that looked promising. I made a few adjustments and additions and turned out chicken breasts that were moist and tender on the inside and crunchy and cheesy on the outside.
I served these with brown rice and steamed green beans, but if you happen to be dining alone tomorrow on Thanksgiving, or you don’t want to go to the trouble of cooking a turkey if there’s just one or two of you, I’d like to suggest these babies. Add a green bean casserole, some sweet potatoes and a pan of rolls and you’ve got yourself a feast.
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1⁄2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3⁄4 cup panko Japanese breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine mustard, mayonnaise, thyme, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat completely; set aside.
In a medium shallow bowl, combine the Parmesan and panko. Dredge the chicken pieces in the panko mixture, coating evenly and heavily, and pressing the coating into the meat.
Put the chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet, spray with a quick burst of cooking spray and put the sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting or serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.