Thursday, 26 June 2008

Barefoot Blogging - Parmesan Chicken

It's Barefoot Blogging Day! Twice a month this new cooking club whips up one of Ina Garten's delicacies and writes about it on their blog. Cooking with Ina, how bad can that be? Ina has five cookbooks and another coming out in the fall and many of her recipes are available at the Food Network website. Her recipes are straight-forward and rarely include hard to find ingredients. If you would like to learn more about cooking with us, feel free to click here.

This week the Barefoot Bloggers have recreated the Parmesan Chicken from page 82 of Barefoot Contessa Family Style. This dish was chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures and I personally loved it. For the recipe, click here.

This requires the fast cooking chicken to be breaded so it is best to set up your Mise en Place. This is a delicate way of saying - have everything in place before you start cooking - which is always a good idea but most important with fast cooking dishes.
The chicken is pounded to a 1/4 inch thickness which gives it a greater surface area for browning and lets it cook quickly, allowing the centre to remain tender. I find when pounding out chicken the best thing to do is to take your time. Rushing it or pounding too hard will make the chicken tear. Place it between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap and pound methodically - while watching the Food Network, or enjoying a glass of wine. Or, if you are in my kitchen, both.

The chicken breasts that we had picked up were large and meaty and since it was just the two of us for dinner, we halved the recipe and used the 2 large breasts. The recipe calls for the cooked chicken to be topped with a fresh salad of greens tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.

I had fresh baby greens from my garden to top the dish off and it all came together wonderfully. We enjoyed it with a 2006 Pinot Gris from Malivoire - our favourite local, organic winery. We followed it up with a little Prosecco - Ina would approve.