Monday, 29 August 2011

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Sage-Sherry Butter Sauce

I'm very picky about crusted chicken, or crusted ANYTHING for that matter. It makes no sense to me that anyone would want to use that dried powdery under seasoned store bought dried bread crumbs when just for a tad bit of effort, you can make your own flavorful bread crumbs that make the perfect crust for meats and vegetables.

Start with a rustic type of bread such as ciabatta, (almost all super markets carry rustic type loafs of bread in their bakery sections) cut bread into cubes leaving the crust on, and process into crumbs in a food processor. The crumbs will be different sizes from small to pea size, this is fine because the goal is not uniformity.
Dry the crumbs on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven  for 10 - 15 minutes until they are dried but not toasted. Freeze any unused crumbs in a freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw and add desired fresh herbs.


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into half
1 cups dried bread crumbs *see above
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Prepare chicken breast by cutting in half lengthwise and pounding to 1/2 thick *Doing this ensures that the coating doesn't burn before the chicken is cooked through.

Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon zest and Parmesan in a shallow dish

Whisk egg whites, cornstarch and lemon juice in another shallow dish.

Dip both sides of prepared chicken into egg mixture. Transfer the chicken to the crumb dish, pat crumbs on both sides of chicken. Air-dry chicken on rack for 20 minutes, this helps to set the crumbs. *Don't skip this important step, it ensures that the crust will adhere to the chicken while cooking.

Heat oil in a large, nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add chicken and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Carefully turn chicken with a spatula and transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking. Roast chicken just until done, about 8 minutes more.


1 1/2 tablespoon shallot minced
1/4 cup good sherry *not cooking sherry
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 - 2 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
Salt, white pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Saute shallot in butter in a small saucepan over medium heat just until soft, 2 -3 minutes.
Add sherry, cream, broth and lemon juice. Simmer until reduced by half, 8 -10 minutes.
Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time stirring constantly.
Finish sauce with sage and seasonings off heat.
Keep warm until ready to serve.

Make it a menu with Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary, and Sauteed Green Beans with Red Peppers


2 tablespoon olive oil
2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
1 lb. Yukon gold or red skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees 
Mix oil, garlic and rosemary in a large bowl, set aside.
Boil potatoes in water for one minute, with a slotted spoon transfer potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle oil and herb mixture on potatoes, toss to coat.
Roast for 20 minutes, carefully turn potatoes with spatula and continue to roast for 10 more minutes, or until cooked through, browned, and crisp.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.


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