Make breadcrumbs, not war: Baked Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

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Going for a run, slugging a punching bag, or a fierce cleaning rampage are all methods I have heard people use to let out pent up aggression from a stressful, day, week, month or year (who knows?!).  But last Wednesday morning when I told my friend’s dad that I had duked it out by making my own breadcrumbs, it definitely made him do the “head-tilt”.  You know what I’m taking about – the tilt those pugs on YouTube do every time their owner asks them a question…complete confusion.  No disrespect to pug lovers globally (seeing as I am a devout owner and fanatic of the wrinkly aliens), but they definitely capture that same sentiment that overwhelmed this dear man that morning.  I told him that while it wasn’t my intention when I first decided to make my own breadcrumbs (in fact it was inspired by the fact that I had a rock-hard baguette that could double as a WMD if I didn’t do something with it), as I sat in my apartment pounding this French staple into coarse shavings, I could not help but feel the frustration from my typical work day leave my nerves and travel through my instrument to make something I was then going to use for my dinner.  Now if that is not a healthy and effective way to cope with stress, I don’t know what is!

My inventory of kitchen supplies, while impressive for someone my age and fairly new to the independent lifestyle, lacks a mallet traditionally used to pummel bread into crumbs.  However, this was not going to stop me!  As Barney Stinson says, “Challenge accepted!” So, while I would not recommend this for children, I wrapped the blade of my serrated bread knife with a thick tea towel and used the handle as my mallet.  I’ve gotta say, it did the job!  However, for the sake of the realization that if I had injured myself no one would have found me for a day, I think my next Amazon.com hunt will be for a mallet.  Otherwise, the only things you need to set yourself up for some healthy stress-busting is dry bread, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings.  Ladies and gentlemen, start pounding!!!

Me and my crude mallet in action!

To Make the Breadcrumbs:

  • 1/3 hardened/stale baguette (or roughly four slices of some other bread)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 pinches Italian seasoning
  1. Cube the bread and put in a gallon-size ziplock bag and seal tightly.
  2. With your mallet, pound the outside of the bag, crushing the bread cubes until they make fine to semi-coarse crumbs.  The more you pound, the finer they will become – it’s all dependent on how much time you want to spend and how bad your week has been.
  3. Open your bag and dump in the parmesan and Italian seasoning.  Seal bag and shake until well mixed.  Add more Italian seasoning if necessary.

Baked Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup homemade breadcrumbs (see above)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (roughly 5 oz each)
  • 4 TB honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.
  2. In a Ziplock bag, mix breadcrumbs and paprika together.  One at a time, toss the chicken breasts in the bag until evenly and thickly coated.  Place breasts on greased cookie sheet.
  3. Drizzle each breast with 1 tablespoon of honey.  Sprinkle remaining breadcrumb mixture over the breasts, gently pressing into the honey so that they adhere.
  4. Make a tent with tin foil and bake the chicken for 20 minutes.  Uncover and cook 10 more minutes, or until brown and cooked through.
  5. Serve immediately and with your favorite sides – I recommend some sort of green vegetable and a potato dish.
Yield:  4 servings (1 breast = 1 serving)
Nutritional Info: (per serving)
 302 calories, 4.5g fat, 556.6mg sodium, 35.7g carbohydrates, 0.5g  fiber, 31.5g protein

The final product! Served with roasted parmesan brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes.

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: How To Make Potato Soup With Chicken Stock | How To Bake

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