Monday, November 14, 2011

Baked Lemon Parmesan Chicken

This is an extremely easy and flavorful recipe, great for a week-night dinner.  Unlike most breaded chicken recipes, which involve triple dipping (flour, egg, bread crumb) and pan-frying, this one has the Parmesan breading pressed on top of the chicken, and is baked.  The flavorful sauce made using the chicken drippings adds delicious lemon juiciness to every bite. The sauce also goes great on side dishes.  We had the chicken with with lemon-garlic broccolini and brown jasmine rice.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (we halved them, but that is optional)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 lemon, zested & juiced
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped (or other seasonal herbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1/2 t salt
fresh ground pepper
1 cup chicken stock 
handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a mixing bowl, combine cheese, bread crumbs, lemon zest, rosemary garlic, green onions, salt and pepper
Melt the butter, and pour it over the bread crumb mixture, mixing with your hands to make sure it is all evenly combined.
Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish, and lay the chicken pieces down.  Press the bread crumb mixture down on top of the chicken.  The butter should help it stick together and mold around the chicken pieces.
Bake the chicken for about 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork.  Remove the chicken from the baking dish and cover it with foil while you make the sauce.  

Scrape the chicken drippings and all the little bits of topping that fell off during the baking and put them in a sauce pan on medium heat.
Add the lemon juice and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer, allowing to reduce by half.
Taste the sauce for salt and pepper before spooning it over your chicken.  It also tastes great on your side dishes!

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