Thursday, February 4, 2010

Parmesan Chicken with Arugula and Lemon

Parmesan chicken?
Yes, Parmesan chicken. Maybe it's old news to you, but it's new to me.
Because it's breaded and fried and I don't do breaded and fried. I save breaded and fried for when I go out to get fish and chips or something of that sort.

But I have been in a serious cooking rut. Partly because I much prefer spring, summer and fall cooking when there are lots of fresh and ripe vegetables to make into salads and pastas and throw on the grill. But also because I am pregnant and sick and tired and I just go with whatever is easiest. Around here that means a pot of beans and lots and lots of bean burritos. I mostly eat cereal, toast and eggs.

See? A rut I tell you. So on Monday morning I got out my files of recipes and I purposed to try some of the ones I've been saving. Saving for years. I have a bit of an obsession with tearing recipes out of magazines, saving them in a big stack and then finally filing them. My husband thinks it's kind of crazy.

But after he ate the Parmesan chicken, he might not think those recipe files are so crazy after all.

Here's the thing about the chicken. It's really good. It's moist and tender and flavorful. It is especially good when it is right out of the pan crispy.
But it is still chicken.

What puts it over the top, though, is that arugula and lemon. It makes it amazing.
I am a huge fan of arugula. I put it on pizza, pasta, sandwiches and make my salads from it. I rarely use any other type of lettuce. It's straight arugula for me.
It's smell makes me swoon. Just tear some up and tell me that that smell doesn't send you over the moon.

When we were in Italy, Aaron had a very, very rare veal steak (so rare the waitress kept warning him it was red. "Red! You know, red?) that was covered with a huge pile arugula.
It was an incredible combination and I am no fan of veal. I don't know why I haven't thought of trying it at home since.

And then the lemon. The 2 of them together, atop the warm, crispy chicken is really just about as perfect a combination as I can imagine.

Because I am feeling more than a bit tired tonight, I am not going to type out the recipe. Instead, I am just going to give you the link, here.
I will however, provide these notes.

I would add more Parmesan and less breadcrumbs to the breading mixture.
I didn't bother to make the lemon vinaigrette. I just squeezed a half a lemon over each plate, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. One less dish to wash, right? It turned out great.
The chicken makes a great salad the next day, with, of course, arugula. In fact, I had it for lunch and dinner. Just cube the chicken, add chopped arugula, some feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, avocados and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice.

I served this pasta (I substituted asparagus for artichokes for the sake of time) along with the chicken and I think it was the best meal I have made in 2 months. Aaron hasn't complained about the dinners I've been making, but I could tell by his effusive compliments that he really liked this one.

Parmesan chicken. Give it a try. It would be nice for dinner this Sunday night. And you can have the leftovers for lunch on Monday.
But don't you dare forget the arugula and lemon!
Happy weekend, friends.

1 comment:

Erin McDonald said...

Parmisian Chicken is a staple at our house, but sadly No arugula or lemon. And sadly no leftovcers for lunch! Justin could eat three chicken breasts all by himself! Well I am glad to hear you are trying new things and thanks for sharing! I just wish I could get my hands on some arugula now! oh well 9 more days!