Monday, September 26, 2011

Double Lemon Chicken with Tomato Basil Salsa

Every Saturday, I spend a few hours meal planning for the following week. On a normal week (with nothing going on during the week), I will usually plan 4-5 meals knowing that we'll have leftovers one night and go out 1 or 2 nights during the week. Sometimes, I'll find so many recipes I need to try right now so I schedule 6 meals for the week. Nonetheless, as life has it, I always tend to have rollovers (as I call it) for recipes that didn't get worked into the week and thus get rolled over to the following week.
This recipe has been one of them. I just don't know why- The ingredients are straightforward. I have everything always stocked in my pantry except for 1 ingredient (lemon). It's cost effective. It's light. The recipe isn't complicated. But for some reason, I just always tended to skip over this recipe and decide to make something else.
Mmm, perfect crusted and sauteed

Even when I made this over the weekend, it was Sunday and I told Darin- "I just don't want to make this recipe." Sigh. But it was getting to be around 7:30pm and we were getting hungry. Darin, so kindly, offered to cook it for me, but he was still sick and battling bad head congestion, stuffy nose, tiredness- he was in no shape to cook. So I wearily headed towards the kitchen and started cooking.

The end result? Nothing I was expecting. Even though the recipe was straightforward (make salsa, bread chicken, fry chicken, done), I could have kicked myself for almost not making it at all. I loved the coarse breading from the panko breadcrumbs with the slight hint of lemon, and the tomato basil salsa was fantastic. The meal was very light, crisp, and fresh.

For the Tomato Basil Salsa
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
10 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
4-5 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pinch of pepper
For the Lemon Chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest (1 medium lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast fillets, pounded until 1/2 inch thick

  • Olive oil for cooking
1-2 lemons, halved
  1. To make the salsa, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the chicken, combine the bread crumbs and lemon zest on a flat dinner plate. Using a fork, mix together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pat chicken breasts dry. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge each fillet in the bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat both sides. (I patted the crumbs on to the chicken a couple of times to make sure the coat was even.) 
  4. Put the breaded chicken in the fridge for about 5 minutes on a baking sheet. (I found this helps keep the breading from coming off.)
  5. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, using just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken fillets in batches and fry until golden brown and cooked through. (I fried two pieces at a time, then after each set of chicken I cleaned out the old oil and added new oil to coat the pan. I kept the cooked chicken in a warm oven while finishing the last two pieces.)
  6. Squeeze generous amounts of lemon juice over each piece. Serve topped with the tomato basil salsa.
 Source: Originally from Anne Getty's Easy Green Organic, as seen on Gourmet: Day To Day


Jessy said...

YAY! I'm glad you liked the chicken too. :) I did the same thing you did whenI made this, is was supposed to be mondays dish and I didn't make it until the next thursday. LOL. I kicked myself afterwards. :)

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