Chicken is one of the basics of my cuisine and it can be prepared in many different ways, so I always try to find original recipes for a change. The typical crispy fried chicken seemed a bit boring and unhealthy to me, so I searched ideas to make it more elegant, and finally found the solution thanks to an Italian ingredient: Parmesan cheese.
By adding parmesan to the mixture of breadcrumbs, plus garlic and herbs, the chicken acquires an intense flavour and a crunchy consistence. Also I put together chicken and breadcrumbs with yogurt instead of egg yolk, and flavour it with spices to give a fresh and light touch to the recipe.
You might have to try a couple of times before getting this right. But once you have it, it is very quick and easy to prepare.
A perfect side dish with the crispy fried chicken is a homemade ratatouille.
- To the contrary of what I have always recommended, it is better to use supermarket grated parmesan and dry herbs for this recipe because it stirs better with the breadcrumbs, and the mixture will stick better to the chicken.
- For a more intense flavour you can add one of these ingredients to the yogurt: 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon grainy mustard or Tabasco, or 1/2 lemon juice, according to your taste.
- Once the chicken breasts are wrapped with breadcrumbs, put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you prepare the side dish. The breadcrumb will stick better during the cooking.
- Fry the chicken with a combination of olive oil and butter: butter gives a caramelized flavour to food but burns quickly, so the combination with olive oil gives it longer endurance without getting burnt.
I like it because:
- You can eat the crispy fried chicken with many different side dishes: vegetables, pasta, rice or salad. My favourite side dishes are the ratatouille or the pasta with tomato sauce.
- You can also eat it cold later, making a sandwich with mayonnaise for example.
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 PEOPLE:
- 4 chicken breasts cut in 2 horizontally if you want them to be thin.
- 2 yogurts
- Seasoning: salt, pepper, cilantro and any other seasoning according to your taste.
- 2 1/2 US cup breadcrumbs (250g)
- 2/3 US cup parmesan (70g)
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 3 teaspoons dried herbs (oregano, basil, and thyme)
- Oil and butter for the pan
Crispy fried chicken with parmesan & herbs
- Mix the yogurt and the seasoning in a mixing bowl, big enough to contain the chicken breasts later.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan, garlic and dried herbs in a deep plate.
- Flip the chicken breasts in the bowl that contains the yogurt and mix them until the chicken breaths are completely covered with yogurt.
- Take a piece of chicken and throw it into the plate with the breadcrumbs. Press strongly the chicken breast with your fingers to make the bread stick well to the underlying side of the chicken, flip it and press on the other side until the meat is completely covered with breadcrumbs. Repeat this action with all the chicken pieces one by one.
If you can, put the chicken breasts 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking.
- Heat the oil and butter together in a large pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the chicken pieces and avoid them overlapping each other in the pan, and heat them on each side until the meat is cooked inside and golden brown outside, around 15 minutes.
Cook the chicken breasts in 2 times for more space in the pan if needed.
Once ready, serve it immediately with the side dish of your choice.