Parmesan Encrusted Chicken

For the longest time I have been turned off by chicken for various reasons. First, although I may not have been, it seemed like I was eating it all the time. Secondly, I tend to find chicken very bland. Finally, I have a problem with today’s chicken. It is bred for white meat and because of this, is typically pumped full of hormones and who knows what else to develop the desired parts of the bird.

Recently, I have begun including more chicken in my diet again. It is a great source of protein and if you choose your source wisely, you can avoid the mass of hormones and other chemicals. Even so, I still find chicken to be somewhat bland. The plus side to that though is that it takes on other flavors very well.

Here is one of my favorite chicken recipes that is relatively quick to make and provides a great flavor.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each)
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Mix the mustard, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and the cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat completely; set aside.

Pound chicken breast so the breast is a consistent thickness throughout but no less than a ½ thick.

In a medium shallow bowl, combine the Parmesan and panko. Dredge the chicken pieces in the panko mixture, Press the breasts into the mixture to coat evenly and give a very heavy coating.

Put the chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet, spray with a quick burst of cooking spray and put the sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

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