On my way home from the gym this evening I was giddy. For the first time this week the sun finally came out and I did not have to fight my way through a cloud to get home. As a kid, whenever I was on a plane, I always wondered what it was like to be in a cloud. Now living in San Francisco I know. It is not soft and fluffy as I hoped; it is cold, windy and wet – basically miserable.
So in honor of the sunshine and a glimpse of real summer I searched through my cookbooks for a chicken dish that felt light and slightly summery. I didn’t want to go too crazy. I stumbled on Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chicken (I told you she is my cooking guru) and I was sold. Plus it allowed me to attempt to make my own bread crumbs from scratch. Bonus I get rid of the two day old bread sitting on my counter and get to use my new Cuisinart. I told you I was a sucker for using my kitchen gadgets.
Ok for all of you experienced cooks out there I know making bread crumbs from scratch is probably one of the easiest things you could do and there really isn’t a reason you shouldn’t be doing it. For me it always felt a little daunting but I can now say mission accomplished. I successfully made my first batch of homemade bread crumbs from Semifreddi’s Rustic Sour bread and can I say yum!
It really is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen. Simply cut up the stale bread into 1 to 2 inch size pieces – you want to get them roughly the same size. Some people say to take the crust off but it was too hard to do on this bread so I opted to keep it on. Dump them into your Cuisinart but be careful not to fill up the bowl too much. Hit pulse until you get the desired size. Voila you have breadcrumbs. This recipe called for them seasoned so I tossed them with some dried oregano.
On to the rest of dinner. This recipe could not have been more simple or more delicious!
Using boneless skinless chicken breasts create chicken cutlets. I love Giada De Laurentis’s trick for making chicken cutlets – simply slice the breast in half lengthwise and then pound to desired thinness; for this recipe it was 1/4 inch. Dip in flour, then egg, and finally my homemade seasoned bread crumbs. Then cook them in a large saute pan with melted butter and oil.
So you might be wondering where is the Parmesan? Well I got so excited about my homemade breadcrumbs and caught up in all this picture taking that I totally forgot to add the Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs! Luckily my pan wasn’t big enough for my four chicken cutlets giving me some time to salvage the second batch.
The other reason I loved this recipe – the salad is served on top of the chicken. My mom has been telling me for years how easy it is to make your own salad dressing and she is right it really is. For this dressing it was the juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss it with some red butter lettuce and you are done. Totally easy.
A little less than an hour after I started, dinner was on the table and it was delicious!
I hope you enjoyed all the pictures. Big thanks to my hubby for being photog tonight.