Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Herb & Cheese Baked Chicken

I'm always looking for light and simple ways to create "WOW" 
chicken dishes that are secretly SIMPLE and pack flavor!
I just happened to be watching the Rachael Ray show today. She was making a very easy chicken dish! It looked sooooooo yummy (and "figure friendly") and as I was watching it, I realized I actually had ALL the ingredients. No grocery shopping trip for me. I was making this recipe....tonight.

4 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese (a FAT handful)
2 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1 tbsp. chopped sage
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (only 3 are pictured)
Olive oil, for drizzling
salt & pepper
about 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

**for best results use FRESH herbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat
When butter gets bubbly, add minced garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.
It will brown up beautifully.
Pour the panko breadcrumbs in a dish. ( I used a casserole pan)
Pour the garlic butter over the breadcrumbs.

Stir and let cool.
Add the cheese and all the FRESH herbs.
Mix well.
Place the chicken on parchment paper.
Rub a little olive oil on both sides.
Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Add a little squirt of Dijon mustard to each chicken breast.
Spread the mustard, covering only ONE side.
Then take chicken, mustard side down, and press into breadcrumb mixture.
Repeat for all pieces of chicken.
The breadcrumbs should only cover ONE side.
Once covered, I realized  the hefty amount of breadcrumbs that were left over.
So, I took an additional 3-4 tbsp of the breadcrumbs and placed it on top of the chicken.
Then, gently patted it down.
Cook at 400 degrees for 20 min. (or until juices run clear)
It was scrumptious. It was tangy, garlicky and crunchy.
The panko breadcrumbs hold their crispy texture and add a nice crunch to the tender chicken.
I paired this with a lovely homemade Curried Cauliflower Soup.

WINNER! WINNER! Chicken dinner.

**I added some slight variations to this recipe.

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