Parmesan Tarragon Chicken

Parmesan Tarragon Chicken

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Parmesan Tarragon Chicken

This dinner may leave my halo ever-so-slightly tarnished, but I can deal with that.  First of all, all I’ve had to eat today is a mug of Healthnut Soup.  Secondly, olive oil is good for the heart and Panko with Parmesan is good for the soul!

I’ve been making this Parmesan Tarragon Chicken for years and years.  I’ve always called it Saltimbocca, but the only thing it has in common with Saltimbocca is Tarragon, at this point.  Not even that, really, since some recipes call for Sage!  “Saltimbocca,” in case you’re interested, is Italian for “jumps in the mouth.”  Hmmmm.  Uh, why would you want something jumping in your mouth?

The original recipe involved pounding the chicken breasts and then rolling them up with gruyère and a thin slice of prosciutto.  Then they would be breaded and sautéed and baked until done.  They were also served with a Sherry Sauce.

My daughter once ordered Saltimbocca at a restaurant and she was surprised that it didn’t even remotely resemble mine!

This is about as dumbed-down as you can possibly get.  Tarragon isn’t as popular as Thyme or Oregano, but I love it.  I keep a pot in the greenhouse and it always comes back to life in the Spring.  I can usually get two cuttings out of it per summer, to be dried in my very cool dehydrator.  This baby has 9 racks and you can dry herbs, fruits, fruit leathers, jerky, you name it.  It also has a proving setting for bread.  If you like drying your herbs, this is an easy and foolproof method using this Excalibur Dehydrator (once again, on Amazon).

Parmesan Tarragon Chicken

Parmesan Tarragon Chicken

4 Servings

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded very thin (1/3 inch)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon water

3 cups Panko breadcrumbs

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 teaspoons dried Tarragon (you may want to start with one teaspoon, if you’re unfamiliar with it.)

Extra virgin olive oil

When I went to the store for chicken breasts, they had all been tucked up in nice, small coils.  But when I got them home, I discovered they were huge!

This is not a good thing, in chicken breasts.  Granted, our chickens were layers, not meat chickens, but larger means older.  Which means tougher.  I think they must package them this way in order to make them appear younger and more tender.

That kind of pisses me off, to tell you the truth.  So, I cut the breasts into halves, horizontally.  Believe it or not, in the above photo, that huge piece of chicken is only 1/2 a breast.

If you need to cut your’s horizontally, before pounding, hold your left palm flat and firmly on the chicken breast.  With your knife held horizontally, bend down and keep the knife at eye level.  Start to saw through the breast, much like you would cut a cake in half.  You’ll be able to see where your knife is going.

Heat your oven to 200°.  Place a platter in the oven to warm.  On the platter, place a couple of paper towels.

Get out 3 pie plates.  In the first, mix flour, salt and pepper.

In the second pie plate, whisk 2 eggs with water.

In the third pie plate, mix Panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, and Tarragon.

As always, it’s dry-wet-dry!

Heat a large skillet on medium high (just a bit hotter than medium).

Coat your chicken in flour and tap with your fingers to remove any excess (this will ensure that it won’t be gummy).

Dip in egg-water mixture so that it is evenly coated.

Lay in Panko mixture and press down to coat.  Turn and coat the other side.  Get as much coating as you can on there.

To hot skillet, add 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.  Try not to knock off the chicken’s coating.  Gently place coated chicken in hot oil.  Peek at its underside from time to time.  When the bottom is nice and brown, gently turn over and cook the other side. Add a little more olive oil, if it needs it.  Since you’re cooking the chicken on medium high and the chicken has been pounded thin, the chicken should be done by the time the second side is brown and crispy.  If you press down with your spatula, it should feel firm.  Remove to the platter in the oven.

Add more olive oil to the hot skillet, if you’re doing another batch.  Repeat.

If you’re trying to watch your calories, just serve this with a nice salad.  I hope you love this as much as we do!

Parmesan Tarragon Chicken





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