Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A whole lotta lemon...

It took me a few days, but I finally settled on what to do with my "precious" meyer lemons (just as they were starting to look like I maybe had waited too long!) - (1) Parmesan chicken topped with a gorgeous salad and lemon vinaigrette and (2) a Dorie Greenspan citrus sabl├ęs cookie recipe (I got her awesome Paris Sweets cookbook for Christmas). One dinner and one dessert :)

I have made this parmesan chicken recipe quite a few times - and have been meaning to blog about it for some time because it is a GREAT weeknight meal. I have been making traditional breaded chicken cutlets forever, and you'd think that this would taste the same, but the greens and lemon vinaigrette really pump up the flavor and dress it up a bit.

Parmesan Chicken (adapted from Ina Garten)
For chicken:
6 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
All-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
Seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Unsalted butter (I used Smart Balance lite in place of butter)
Olive oil

For salad & dressing:
Salad greens for 6 - I tend to like baby greens - arugula or spring mix usually
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (~2 lemons); I used 1.5 meyer lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Pound the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper until fairly thin with a meat mallet.

2. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a container large enough to coat chicken. It is probably about 1 cup of flour to coat chicken, but really depends on what size and shape container you are using, so just eye the amounts. You can always add more. In a 2nd container, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. In a 3rd container, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. I usually use about 1.5 cups of bread crumbs.

3. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through and browned on both sides. Add more butter and oil as needed and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

5. Combine ingredients for dressing. Place one piece of chicken on each dinner plate - top with a mound of salad and then spoon some of the lemon dressing on top (I usually use about 4 spoonfuls). The dressing is a bit tart, so less is more until you taste it.

And now...for the dessert!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of these great, easy cookies - another blogger (Mary @ Alpineberry) made these cookies a few months back so I will point you towards her blog for the recipe (or the book). I used bright yellow crystal sugar on the outside to make them a little prettier. These cookies are ridiculously tender (evidence in the photo below) and my husband even liked them with his coffee (he usually detests desserts lacking chocolate!). I sent a bunch to my grandparents using these awesome bakery boxes I got for Christmas (Thanks Mom!) - you can find them here.

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