Sunday, May 20, 2012

Easy Italian Breaded Chicken

Hey all, I have been wanting to post a basic breaded chicken recipe for a while now. It's something that seems fancy, but once you get down the technique, it's a simple, and incredibly adaptable way to invigorate an otherwise boring weeknight meal. This chicken goes with just about anything -- rice, pasta, seasonal vegetables, served over a bed of greens, etc. -- you name it, and it will be a wonderful, crunchy complement. It is also a versatile dish that will easily suit your mood, or the particular ingredients you have on hand. For the last coating stage (#4 below), instead of using Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, you can substitute crushed corn flakes, crackers, or panko (Japanese style bread crumbs), and then spice it up however you like.

This post is really aimed at showing you a simple way to get good results every time. You will use a few dishes to get everything prepared, but if you take a few minutes to organize at the outset, it will save a lot of stress in the end. Beware: it WILL be a hot mess if you DON'T have an organized plan of attack! So here goes... 

4 servings

* 4 thinly-sliced chicken breasts (You can usually find them already thinly sliced at the store. If not, talk to your butcher, or just buy small chicken breasts and flatten them with a meat mallet. It's important to have them thinly sliced for this preparation.)
* 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 3/4 cup flour
* 2 eggs
* 3/4 cup bread crumbs
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded (substitution: Pecorino Romano)
* 1 lemon 

 * Pat the chicken breasts dry, and give each side a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Set up your breading station. (1-5 moves from right to left pictured below.)
1. Chicken
2. Flour: Add a sprinkle of salt to the flour, and spread in a shallow dish.
3. Egg: Whisk your eggs with a splash of water, and pour in a shallow dish or bowl.
4. Bread Crumbs: Mix your bread crumbs, seasoning, and shredded cheese, and spread in a shallow dish.
5. Have another dish or cutting board handy to lay out your battered chicken.
Set up your pan-frying station. 
* All you need is a saute pan (or a pan like this - very nice, because you can cook all four at once!), EVOO, and a spatula.
Bread your chicken. 
1. Thoroughly coat your chicken in flour (by firmly placing each side into the flour mixture).
2. Toss both sides in the egg wash.
3. Bread by placing each egg-y side into the bread crumbs, ensuring the chicken is entirely coated, but shaking off the excess.
* They should look something like this when you're done coating... 
* Heat the EVOO on medium-high heat.
** Note: If you have a smaller pan, reserve half the EVOO for the second batch. 
* Place the chicken in the pan when it becomes nice and hot. You want to hear a ::sssssssssss:: when the chicken hits the pan.
* Cook each side for about 2 minutes, until the breading is lightly browned. 
* Remove from the pan. 
** I like to serve with lemon; it really brightens the flavor!
* Andddd, that's all folks! For a can't-miss meal, try it with my Green Bean, Artichoke, & Mushroom Casserole.


  1. I love doing chicken like this! I use whole wheat bread crumbs with different spices for different flavors- mmm mmm! Yours looks great!

    1. Whole wheat bread crumbs sounds like a healthy & hearty twist! Thanks for the idea!