I got this recipe from friend who got it from a friend who adapted it from Ina Garten. It was originally “Parmesan Chicken”, but because I had Romano cheese on hand, I adapted it once again. Why do I buy Romano cheese instead of Parmesan? I prefer to have a fresh chunk of hard cheese on hand to grate because the flavor is a million times better. (Yes, a million.) And because Pecorino-Romano cheese is cheaper than Parmesan-Reggiano, that’s what I buy. Their flavors differ slightly because Parmesan is made from cow’s milk and Romano is made from sheep’s milk, which gives it a slightly sharper flavor.
This is a lighter version of Parmesan chicken and what makes it special is the lemon vinaigrette-dressed salad that tops the chicken instead of a heavy marinara sauce. I also used whole wheat bread crumbs I made by processing some stale chunks of bread, throwing it in the toaster oven for a few minutes and adding a little Italian seasoning and garlic powder. (After seeing high fructose corn syrup in a brand of bread crumbs I bought, it made me mad. Why do they need to add that?! They’re bread crumbs for pete’s sake! I’ll just make my own — take that!)
Enough ranting. Steve and I both thought this was great! Thanks for the recipe Melissa!
adapted from Ina Garten
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 c. seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. freshly grated Romano (or Parmesan) cheese, plus extra for serving
Good olive oil
Salad greens, washed and spun dry
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 c. good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk as you drizzle in the olive oil.
You can either pound the chicken to 1/2-in thickness or do what I do. I detest pounding chicken, so I just slice them in half to make them thinner. (Unless I plan on rolling them with some kind of filling.)
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and ½ cup grated Romano cheese. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.