Posted by: Catherine | January 23, 2009

Parmesan Chicken “Salad”



This recipe comes from Ina Garten, and it’s one of our family’s favorite dinners. It’s absolutely yumma-licious, as Emma says. It’s quick. And it’s easy, especially if you buy thin chicken breast fillets so you don’t have to do all the pounding yourself. (I actually hate that whole process because, no matter how I proceed, I always end up with chicken schrapnel on my backsplashes.) Plus, it’s company-worthy! Ina served it to Mel Brooks on one of her Barefoot Contessa episodes on The Food Network, and he was actually banging on the table with pleasure at first bite (true, the cameras were there, but it is that good). Ina made a wild mushroom soup for a first course that night–I tried it, and didn’t really like (could’ve been me) so, instead, I serve her Roasted Winter Root Vegetable Soup to start.

(6 servings)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup all-purpose four

1 t. kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 extra-large eggs

1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving (I actually use more Parmesan, fewer breadcrumbs, which put this dish almost squarely on the Southbeach Diet)

Unsalted butter

Good olive oil

Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry (I like to use a light lettuce, like butter lettuce or green- or red-leaf lettuce…not romaine)

1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with one tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread  crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Cook the chicken breasts  in one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of oil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Toss the salad greens with the vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast and serve with extra grated Parmesan. (I actually do the reverse: put the chicken breast on top of a mound of salad–just looks prettier, I think.)

Lemon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about two lemons)

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/2 t. kosher salt

1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients.



  1. catherine … i made these the other night and got 4 thumbs up! … my family never agrees so this is a KEEPER … it was super fast, super easy, and as emma says, “YUMMA-LICIOUS” … only complaint is all the dirty plates … but for 4 thumbs up that’s a small price to pay!

    thanks … xoxo

  2. So happy! I know what you mean about the plates, but fortunately Guthrie loves eggs…and Parmesan-bread crumb mixture. I just bought 10 packages of thin chicken breasts on sale at Ralph’s for the freezer.

  3. hey catherine … i tried a variation that was Yumma-Licious AND even more South Beach friendly … I omitted the flour step and went right to dipping the breasts in the egg/water mix … then i dredged the breasts in a mixture of equal parts grated parmesan cheese and ALMOND FLOUR/MEAL (1/2 cup each) … there are no carbs in the almond flour/meal … and i gotta say, it tasted amazing 🙂 … and i agree, serve on top of the salad …

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