Thursday, October 4, 2007

Light delight

I was very excited to be back in the kitchen tonight and to be able to cook a nice meal. And what better thing to make than chicken Parmesan. As always this was a hit and my husband and I gobbled it up. This may be a light recipe but it does not lack in flavor. This stuff is awesome. And a huge thanks goes out to Laura (the queen of all things Cook's Illustrated) who was nice enough to share this recipe with me last year.

Now, let's talk about Panko. Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs. They are not as tiny and coarse as regular breadcrumbs, they are bigger and have an airy texture to them which helps to provide a nice crunch to whatever you coat with them. I used
Ian's whole wheat Panko, but regular and seasoned varieties are also available. Panko can be used in place of breadcrumbs in any recipe. I have even been putting Panko in my meatballs and meatloaf. Now go run out and buy some Panko and make something with it! Then report back to me and let me know how wonderful you think it is. ;)

Chicken Parmesan
(Light Version)
(Source: Cook's Illustrated; The Best Light Recipe cookbook)

1.5 cups Panko
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 oz. grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tbsp water
vegetable oil spray
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1/4 inch thick, or sliced in half to make cutlets)
1 recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce for Chicken Parmesan
3 oz low-fat mozzarella, shredded (3/4 cup)
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.
2. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tbsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with veg oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with S&P. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking of excess, then dip into egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs. Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack.
4. Spray the tops of the chicken with the veg oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tbsp. sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top with 2 tbsp. of mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve.

Per serving: 310 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2.5g sat fat, 75mg cholesterol, 20g carbs, 38g protein, 790g sodium

Simple Tomato Sauce
(Source: Cook's Illustrated)

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper

Pulse the tomatoes with their juices in a food processor until mostly smooth, about 10 1-second pulses; set aside. Cook the garlic, tomato paste, oil, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with S&P to taste.

This is what the chicken looked like when it came out of the oven. Notice my very well seasoned stone. :) In case I have never said it before I absolutely love my Pampered Chef stoneware and have about 8 different pieces.


Carrie said...

This looks SUPER good, I have been wanting to make chicken parmesan for a while. I will add this to my must try list.

Jaime said...

i didn't realize how many uses you could get out of stoneware! i'd never think to bake chicken on it! this looks great!

Jessica said...

Mmmmmmmm that melty, bubbly cheese looks amazing!! I really need to try making my chicken parm with panko! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of panko breadcrumbs and coat almost everything with them :) This looks like a lovely version of chicken parm. I'm hungry now!

Annie said...

Mmmm, that looks delicious! Nice work. I haven't tried Panko yet but I need to.

Finla said...

They look delicious.
Shouldtry this once

Deborah said...

I am a Panko fan as well! It makes everything so much better! I have never seen the whole wheat variety before, though.

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

This looks AWESOME!!! I'm going to have to give it a whirl! :)