Perfect for summer: quick, easy, make-ahead chicken in a light Parmesan crust. Good hot or cold, as is or atop a salad or tucked into a sandwich.
In thousands of hometowns this Independence Day, Americans will place hands over hearts as legions of dignified if aging veterans and their fresh-faced comrades convey our flag along tree-lined main streets.
And as day draws to a close, we’ll gather again on blankets and some times in boats to “oooh” and “aaah” as mid-summer night skies unfold a pageant of artistry and spectacle.
Between the parades and the pyrotechnics will be family reunions, neighborhood potlucks, church picnics, riverside barbecues and community fairs – all laden with summer bounty!
It’s no wonder that food-wise, the Fourth of July is the second-busiest holiday, after Christmas, for supermarkets.
You’ll make CHICKEN PARMESAN often for it’s a perfect make-ahead summer picnic contribution.
It also freezes well and thaws quickly so can make for a quick supper some busy night, perhaps sliced thin and splayed fan-like across a bed of greens and garnished with sliced tomato or zucchini, mango or strawberry.
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Oven time: 15 – 20 minutes
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1/2 English muffins (about 1-1/4 cups fresh crumbs)
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1-1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon additional pepper
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
Preheat oven to 450F. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a low, flat dish suitable for dipping chicken breasts. Process the English muffin halves in food processor until finely ground. Add Parmesan, pepper and butter and pulse two or three times until well blended. Transfer coating mixture to a second low-flat dish. Dip each breast in the dressing, then the coating, covering completely with each. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
This 2003 column was published online for the first time in 2007.
For smaller servings for children or for potluck contributions where there'll be many food choices, cut the chicken breasts into smaller pieces before coating.
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