Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cuisine at Home: Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Sage Butter Sauce


Cuisine at Home really wants you to try their magazine.  It's all I can think about after coming across their initial "free" issue every time I turn around.  Half Price Books must have a whole collection at this point.  But their Parmesan Crusted Chicken just looked too good to put down, so I gave in and made it.  And the recipe turned out a delicious piece of slightly tart, savory, crusty chicken goodness.  So I guess all those free issues did their job after all.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Sage Butter Sauce
From Cuisine at Home magazine, October 2002

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Juice of ½ lemon
1 loaf Ciabatta bread (to yield 1 cup coarse, dry bread crumbs)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Sage Butter Sauce

Cut Ciabatta bread into large cubes and process in a food processor until fine crumbs form.  Dry the crumbs on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes in a 200°F oven until completely dried by not toasted.

Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise.  Pound flat in a Ziploc bag with a small amount of water added.  Breasts should be an even thickness.

Blend egg whites, cornstarch, and lemon juice with a fork in a wide shallow dish; set aside.  Combine bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and zest in a second wide, shallow dish.  Dip chicken breasts first in egg sauce and then crust with breadcrumb mixture.  Let chicken rest at room temperature on a rack for 20 to 30 minutes to set crust.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Heat a frying pan with olive oil.  Add chicken breasts and brown first side, approximately 3 minutes.  Turn over and brown other side, approximately 3 minutes.  Transfer to oven-safe dish with small amount of olive oil in bottom.  Heat in oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Serve with sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Sage Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons minced shallot
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed, divided use
1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
Salt and white pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste

Sauté shallot in 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat just until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add wine, cream, broth, and lemon juice.  Simmer until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes.  Whisk in remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly.  Do not add more butter until previous addition has melted completely.  Finish sauce with sage and seasonings.  Keep warm in a water bath until ready to serve.

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