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Author Notes: I’m in the trenches everyday with a full-time job, a working husband, and kids in school. Sometimes it is a real struggle to cook dinner and pack everyone's lunches every day. When I’m in the weeds, I know I can turn to this dish...it has never let me down. Kids love it. Adults love it. It’s great hot out of the pan for dinner and still great packed for lunch the next day. Grown-ups get it sliced into a crisp green salad while kids can dip their room temp chicken into ketchup. I always make a double batch of this the night before a plane trip and pack the leftovers as sandwiches. There is nothing that can get me through the morning or a long plane flight like knowing I’m going to have a lunch date with my BFF! - monkeymom —monkeymom
Food52 Review: WHO: Monkeymom is an avid Food52er, weekday warrior, and scientist.
WHAT: Your new BFF. (Seriously.)
HOW: Dredge pounded-thin chicken in egg, panko, and cheese; fry it up; put on salads and sandwiches all week long.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Let's first talk about the chicken: how crispy it is, how satisfying it is, how the panko and cheese make the best crust we've had in a long time. Now, onto the dressing: This is Caesar's elegant cousin that we can't stop making. Monkeymom's recipe is now in our weekly rotation -- we bet it will become a part of yours, too. —The Editors
Crispy Coated Chicken
- 1 pound chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil
- If using chicken breast, slice into pieces about 1/2-inch thick. Pound chicken tenders or slices between two pieces of saran wrap to 1/4-inch in thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Get breading stations ready. Mix flour and garlic salt on a plate. Next, beat eggs in a shallow but wide bowl. Then mix together panko and parmesan in another shallow but wide bowl or plate. Put a clean plate at that end.
- With one hand coat a piece of chicken with flour mixture and then drop into egg mixture. Pick it up, coat both sides with egg then drop into panko/cheese mixture. Using your other hand, coat both sides with panko/cheese. Set on the clean plate and continue coating the rest of the chicken.
- Add enough vegetable oil to generously coat your frying pan (I use non-stick for this) and heat on medium high heat. Once hot, add enough chicken to fill the pan. Once the coating has turned golden brown flip each slice over. Add additional oil to make sure that the panko/cheese mixture can also brown evenly on that side. When both sides are nicely browned, remove to a plate with paper towels.
- The chicken can be served hot or room temperature. To reheat, heat in a 350° F oven or toaster for 5 minutes or until coating sizzles.
- Slice to serve in a green salad with Lemony Parmesan Dressing (or your favorite).
- Pack chicken pieces into lunch boxes with a small container of ketchup.
- Tuck pieces of chicken between two slices of your favorite toast with lettuce and tomatoes.
Lemony Parmesan Dressing
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (ideally grated on a microplane)
- 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 6 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Mash up the garlic clove your favorite way.
- Add garlic with Parmesan, crème fraiche, lemon juice and anchovy (if using) and mix thoroughly.
- Add olive oil and whisk until evenly mixed and emulsified.
- Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice. I like this with lots of pepper.
- For lunches, pack a bit of dressing in a small container and drizzle on salads or sandwich right before eating (a small baggie works well -- pour into the corner of the baggie and seal the bag, then twist the baggie right above it. When it is time for lunch, clip the corner of the bag and squeeze the dressing out).
- This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brown Bag Lunch