Before Mr. P moved to Italy and I had the privilege of spending lots of time traveling the country, my exposure to Italian food was…Olive Garden. Don’t laugh. I still love Olive Garden. However, America has made-over the Italian cuisine, just as they have Mexican and many, many others.
In Italy, there is no Chicken Parmesan. SHOCK! AWE! HORROR!
You can find chicken in the esselunga (grocery store), but I never once found it on a restaurant menu. Beef, veal, and seafood were the most common proteins of choice in Italy. While I know Chicken Parmesan isn’t “Italian”…it doesn’t make me love it any less. In typical Prevention RD fashion, the chicken was rolled in Panko and baked to a crisp. A perfect, lightened-up rendition of the popular deep-fried faux-Italian favorite!
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
2 large egg whites
1 Tbsp water
non-stick cooking spray
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~8 oz each), halved width-wise to create thinner breasts
1 cup marinara sauce, warmed (plus more for pasta, if desired)
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. When the oil is hot, stir in the panko and stir often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.
In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs, Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack and bake about 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Serve over whole wheat pasta and additional marinara and parmesan, if desired. Yield: 6 servings (4 ounces each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 264 calories; 6.3 g. fat; 66 mg. cholesterol; 483 mg. sodium; 16.3 g. carbohydrate; 0.8 g. fiber; 34.8 g. protein
Result: This was delicious! I am a sucker for Chicken Parm (even though it’s not “Italian” 😉 ). The outside was crispy and flavorful which helped to keep the chicken nice and tender. You can add a personal touch with your favorite marinara – meat, vegetarian, garlic & herb, cheese, and so on! This meal was also ready in about 30 minutes – bonus! Enjoy!
I am going to a women’s hockey drill/practice session tonight. I have a feeling it’s going to be rough…but I can’t wait! 😀 I’m ready for a break from the treadmill!
Question: Do you like Olive Garden?