Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Egg-Free Crispy Parmesan Chicken and Arugula Salad

Okay, excuse me for a moment but I am temporarily blinded by the cuteness that is this boy. Don't worry, it won't last long. It never does. Any minute there will be a defiant glance, a whine, a covert squeal-inducing pinch for a sister passing by. But for right now, in this moment, this boy, is super adorable, wonderfully agreeable, and to top it all off he's one heck of a chicken dredger. Screw egg allergies. Thanks to buttermilk, my boy can dredge.

Don't worry. Everybody gets their hands dirty.
Now, I've read the literature and I realize my kids are supposed to love chicken nuggets. They don't. I can't take credit for this since I have no idea what I did to incite their contempt for fast food. Honestly with the restaurant limits Roo's allergies place on us, I am not above a stop at the golden arches on a road trip if it means he can eat without going into anaphylactic shock. One health concern at a time, you know? Still, the KC kids would much prefer me to travel with a hunk of Parmesan cheese and a few apples in my purse than to suggest they eat nuggets for lunch.

So maybe your kids adore chicken nuggets, maybe they don't. That's really not the point. The point is, that this crispy crunchy golden chicken is way better than any old chicken nuggets. Whether they do or do not appreciate nuggets currently, if they go crazy for Parmesan cheese like mine do, they will likely enjoy this chicken. And bonus, it's one big nutritional step up from the ones you-know-who serves in a cardboard box. Use organic chicken, add a green salad, and you might as well start searching out wall space for your parent of the year plaque.
Looly teaching the art of finely grated Parmesan to a rapt audience
 Egg-Free Crispy Parmesan Chicken

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
3 cups panko
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
2 tbsp canola oil

1. Pour buttermilk into a shallow dish. Set aside. Pour flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper into a separate shallow dish, mix to combine and set aside. Combine panko, grated Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a third dish. Stir to combine.
2. Heat a large NON-non-stick (got that? we want the stick here!) skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil.
3. Dip pounded chicken breasts, one at a time, in buttermilk. Allow excess to drip off then dredge in flour, followed by a second dip in buttermilk, and finally dredge in panko mixture.
4. Place half the chicken breasts into hot skillet and cook, flipping once, until crisp and golden brown on the outside and cooked through (about 4 minutes per side, depending on size). Repeat with remaining chicken.

Arugula Salad

3 cups arugula
1 large tomato, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp shallots, minced
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 ounce Parmesan cheese

1. Combine arugula and chopped tomato in a large bowl.
2. To make the dressing, combine lemon juice, mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Pour dressing over salad. Top with shaved Parmesan.

1 comment:

  1. Somebody is going to be a TOTAL lady killer when he grows up. Hearts will melt with one look in those eyes!

    But right now my heart is melting over this chicken. Love.This.