Parmesan cheese is a gateway drug . It’s got one of the best marketing campaigns out there. It starts off innocently, in a green, sterile tube, with a major brand label across it to make you think it’s safe to eat. So you take it and you put it on your pasta. It’s an innocent enough product and you like it. So you start using it more and more, then one day you go out to an Italian restaurant and they ask if you want cheese on your pasta. Well, you are addicted now and so of course you say yes. Then the waiter brings out a grater and a block of cheese. “A block?” you think to your self, “it comes in a BLOCK?!” So next time you are at the store you seek out this block. It’s pricey, like hard drug pricey, but you think, I only use a little so it’s ok and you buy it. But you can’t grate it with a regular grater, no, you need the fancy microplane, so you get that too. This marks the beginning of the end, you are hooked, like a junkie looking for your next hit. Soon you find yourself at cheese shops discussing the different kinds of hard, grating cheeses, waxing poetic over a pecorino or some 12 month old Parmesan. Yep, you are addicted. It’s a sneaky bastard. I, my friends, am a hardcore addict. My poison of choice at the moment is a ridiculously expensive Pecorino Romano Cheese. My drug dealer, Whole Foods, sells this stuff shredded and I and my druggy husband can’t imagine our lives without it’s piquant, salty tang.
This dish started it’s life innocently enough as Chicken Parmesan with pasta and red sauce, but we actually ate the chicken and veg leaving the pasta behind. Anything that will make my husband, Mr. Carb, not eat his pasta in favor of a vegetable should be documented and shared. So I have decided to blog this for the greater good. This dish will work with any hard grating cheese, so wherever you are in the addiction cycle go with what you like, you’ll get to the hard stuff soon enough.
2 Chicken Breast, Boneless Skinless
2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated – any other hard grated cheese will do
2 Large Eggs
2 Tbs Chopped Italian Parsley (about a handful of leaves)
Bunch of Baby Onions with greens attached – You can use regular onions or two bunches of scallions
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Pre-Heat Oven to 425° Farenheit
Since the Veg takes the longest to cook start by prepping the Veg.
Cut the green tops off the onions and slice into 2 inch pieces, then slice the white of the onion in half.
Toss with Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt and Pepper to taste and place on a half baking sheet sprayed with nonstik spray.
Place into the 425 degree oven and set a timer for 40 minutes.
Next Take each chicken breast and slice it in half length wise and in half again. Then pound the chicken breast until it is as thin as a cutlet.
In one dish add and whisk the two eggs and season with salt and pepper.
In another dish add the panko bread Crumbs, the grated cheese, and the parsley.
Take the chicken and place it in the egg mixture, making sure to coat it well.
Move the chicken to the bread crumbs.
Given the texture of the panko you need to really press it into the chicken to form a good crust.
Once it’s well coated lift the chicken and shake it lightly to get any excess breading that has not adhered to the chicken.
Place on a baking tray coated with nonstick spray and place in the oven. Allow to cook for 30 minutes.
Serve both together with lemon wedges and enjoy!