AS YOU CAN SEE, I’M HORRIBLE AT TAKING PICTURES. SORRY ABOUT THAT. HOPEFULLY, I’LL GET BETTER AS TIME GOES ON SINCE I’M PRETTY NEW TO THIS BLOGGING THING.
I MADE THIS RECIPE UP WHEN WE HAD A NEWLY WIDOWED FRIEND COMING OVER FOR DINNER. I WANTED TO MAKE SOMETHING SHE WOULD HAVE NEVER SEE OR TASTED BEFORE. SHE LOVED AND CLEANED HER PLATE. MY MOM AND I ALWAYS SPLIT A BONELESS CHICKEN BREAST. EVEN THE ORGANIC BREASTS WE ALWAYS USE, WHICH ARE MUCH SMALLER THAN THE REGULAR BREASTS. NEITHER OF US USUALLY EAT VERY MUCH. BUT THIS TINY, FRAIL SENIOR CITIZEN REALLY PUT IT AWAY THAT NIGHT. SHE EVEN HAD 2 HELPINGS OF FRESH, HOMEMADE CREAMED CORN AND A HOMEMADE YEAST ROLL. GOOD THING I MADE EXTRA CORN. I HAD ALREADY MADE A WHOLE BATCH OF YEAST ROLLS SO THAT WASN’T AN ISSUE.
I THINK THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE CHICKEN DISH. I’M PLANNING ON USING IT AGAIN REAL SOON AND I CAN’T WAIT. BUT THERE ARE A COUPLE MORE EXPERIMENTAL DISHES I’VE COME UP WITH THAT I WANT TO TRY FIRST. MAKING UP DISHES IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO WHILE I’M SITTING OUTSIDE WITH THE CHICKENS WHILE ON “BOBCAT WATCH”. I’VE MENTIONED BEFORE, THAT WE HAVE A FEW FREE RANGE CHICKENS THAT HAVE A LOVELY COOP THEY GO IN AT NIGHT ARE WHEN BOTH, MOM AND I LEAVE THE HOUSE. WE NEVER DID THIS BEFORE THIS JANUARY 2019. WE LOST 2 CHICKENS TO 2 DIFFERENT BOBCATS. WE THINK ONE WAS A FEMALE AND THE OTHER, HER OFFSPRING THAT SHE WAS TEACHING HOW TO HUNT SINCE ONE WAS DEFINITELY BIGGER THAN THE OTHER AND THEY CAME FROM 2 DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. WE LIVE IN A VERY RURAL AREA WITH WOODS ON ALL SIDES OF US. EVEN ACROSS THE STREET. SO YOU COULD SAY WE ARE SURROUNDED ON ALL SIDES. OUR CLOSEST NEIGHBOR IS 2 – 2 ACRE LOTS BETWEEN US AND HIS HOUSE SITS BACK FROM THE ROAD ON HIS 22 ACRES RANCH. IT USED TO BE MY UNCLE’S UNTIL HE PASSED AWAY A YEAR AGO. THAT’S WHY WE MOVED HERE, SO WE COULD BE CLOSE TO HIM. ANYWAY, SINCE WE LOST THOSE 2 CHICKENS, MY MOM AND I HAVE SAT ON BOBCAT WATCH FOR 11 HOURS A DAY (FROM AROUND 7 – 7:30 AM TO 6 – 6:30 PM). IT’S BEEN ROUGH SO FAR THIS SPRING. THE TEMPERATURES ARE IN THE MID 90’S ALREADY. I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT THE NORMALLY CONSIDERED “HOT MONTHS” ARE GOING TO BE LIKE. AND THE MORNINGS DURING THE COLD DAYS WERE A LITTLE ROUGH AS WELL. I DRANK A LOT OF COFFEE. BUT WHAT’S KEPT ME BUSY IS WRITING UP RECIPES. BUT IT’S GOING TO TAKE TIME TO TRY OUT ALL THESE EXPERIMENTS.
I’VE ALREADY TRIED A NUMBER OF THE EXPERIMENTS. I JUST HAVE TO GET AROUND TO POSTING THEM. BEAR WITH ME, I’LL GET AROUND TO THAT SOON.
SO THIS IS MY CRISPY CHICKEN WITH ROASTED, BALSAMIC GRAPE/CHERRY TOMATOES…
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
2 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Divided
3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 1/2 Tablespoon Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt (Or Sea Salt) – Divided
1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper – Divided
1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Paste* – Divided
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes (Or Grape Tomatoes) – Leave Whole
1/4 Sweet Onion – Cut In Medium Thick, Half Moons)
1/4 teaspoon Lightly Dried Basil**
3 teaspoons Balsamic Reduction***
Add panko, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper & onion powder, to a small storage or freezer baggie, set aside.
Place oven rack on the middle rung. Preheat oven to 450 F
In a large storage bag add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon garlic paste, lightly dried basil and 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Shake well to mix. Add the cherry tomatoes/grape tomatoes and sweet onion,. Gently turn over numerous times to coat the tomatoes. Pour tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer Set aside.
Pound chicken to about 1/2 inch thick. Set aside
Crack eggs into a shallow dish, add 1/8 teaspoon garlic paste, whisk well.
Shake the bag with the panko, for about 15 – 20 seconds to mix really well, pour into another shallow dish. Coat both sides of chicken in the egg, let extra egg drip off the chicken then dredge through the panko mix making sure to get a thick coating of crumbs. Place on a baking rack and let sit for 5 minutes so the crumbs can soak in some of the egg and stick to the chicken better.
Fry the chicken and roast the tomatoes at the same time so they have finished cooking about the same time.
Place tomatoes in the oven and roast until the skin starts to wrinkle, about 8 – 10 minutes. Don’t worry if some of the skins start to get a little dark or look burnt. Remove tomatoes/onions from the oven and place in a medium – large mixing bowl, gently toss with the balsamic reduction.
Cover and keep warm while chicken finishes cooking (if not done already)
After the chicken has set for 5 minutes while the panko began to stick to the chicken, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, in large (around a 10 – 12 inch), high-sided, skillet. Once the oil is heated, slowly add the chicken. Fry until golden, toasty brown on one side, flip and fry other side of chicken until golden toasty brown, as well. Place on plate.
Spoon the roasted tomatoes on the chicken.
*Garlic Paste Information – Paste has a Stronger flavor than Minced or Chopped Cloves.
You can use a Garlic Press if you have one or purchase a Commercial Brand (I purchase a product from Garden Gourmet which is in my grocery store’s produce department; if you are interested in the paste try asking your grocery store manager if they will order it for you) Or you can easily make it fresh using the instructions below.
1 – 2 Garlic Cloves (Not The Whole Bulb)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or Coarse Salt
1/8 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mince Garlic Cloves And Scrape Into A Pile; Pour Kosher Salt And Olive Oil Over The Garlic; Using The Dull Side Of A Butter Knife Or Mortar and Pestle; Move Knife (Or Pestle) Back And Forth, Occasionally Scraping Back Into A Pile Before Resuming To Grind; Continue Until You Reach A Paste Consistence
**Herb Conversion – A good rule of thumb if you want to use any fresh herb 1 teaspoon lightly dried or regular dried equals 3 Tablespoons chopped and tightly packed into measuring spoon of fresh.
Lightly Dried information –
Lightly dried herbs taste closer to fresh than regular, dried herbs. I use a product from Gourmet Garden that’s Lightly Dried. If your grocery store does carry Gourmet Garden is would be found in the produce department with the fresh herbs. If you can’t find it, maybe the manager at your store will order it for you. My store didn’t carry one of their products and I asked the manager if he could order it and he did. Maybe your store has the same policy.
Gourmet Garden makes a handful of dried herbs and herb pastes. All of which are wonderful. I love using the basil, ginger, parsley, oregano, chives and dill paste.
All their products have the added benefit of being organic. which is a preference for us. They also have lightly dried chilies, garlic, mixed herbs, coriander, mint and at least 12 different kinds of pastes which have the fresh taste of fresh herbs but stays fresh for 4 weeks (but to be honest, I’ve kept them longer than that and they’ve tasted just fine and I never use products after use by date)
***Balsamic Vinegar Reduction can be used in many dishes from Cheese Trays and Salads, to Main Courses and Side Dishes and also on Desserts. It’s uses are as varied as your imagination.
I buy a product from Alessi which is a company that began in my hometown of Tampa in Fl about 60 miles south of where I live now. But it’s easy enough to make your own and only takes a couple minutes.
At least 1 Cup Decent Balsamic Vinegar – It doesn’t have to be top shelf but it should be from Modena, Italy
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan.
Turn heat to medium high and bring vinegar to a boil. (Open a window or turn on exhaust fan over stove since the smell of vinegar will get strong)
Once boiling, reduce to a simmer on medium low and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until it has at least reduced down by half (for a thinner reduction) or longer (for a thicker reduction). Stir occasionally (using a silicone spoon to stir the reduction works best). Don’t try to cook on a higher heat or you will end up with sticky, rock hard mess. You know it’s done when it coats the back of a metal (stainless steel type) spoon
Be sure to keep an eye on it because it can burn quickly.
Remove from heat and move to a glass bowl to cool at room temperature. Once cooled transfer to an airtight container. Balsamic Reduction will last for at least 3 months as long as you have it properly sealed in an air tight container and it’s stored in the refrigerator. If reduction hardens after being in the refrigerator for too long, you can place the container in a bowl filled with warm water to heat it up a bit.
Here is the company from which I purchase my herb pastes and lightly dried herbs. I receive no monetary or any type of consideration from this company for posting this link. I just wanted to let you have the information if you were interested.