Parmesan Crusted Chicken


The last couple weeks in the Givens household have been slammed busy, which sadly leaves little time for cooking and baking.  These are the times I tend to feel the most drained and stressed because, really, if you're too busy to feed yourself real food, what kind of crazy are you living?  Do you ever find yourself in a similar situation- stretched thin, and it just sort of all happened at once?

Fortunately, there are some things in this world that don't take a lot of advance planning and preparation, just a decently stocked pantry (and fridge/freezer).  Usually a pasta dish can be thrown together with little or no thought, and can use many combinations of meat, vegetables, sauces, and cheese.

 This particular chicken dish came from Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals show from the mid-2000's.  It's quick, easy, simple, and delicious.  You don't even really need a recipe.  I started making it before I was very good at cooking, and it was good even then.  This has always been a hit of a meal.  Drew and I still make it with some regularity, and he even cooks it at the fire station with an enthusiastic reception.

This chicken is good served with a side of pasta, mashed potatoes, polenta, vegetables, or a salad.  This time I blanched some green beans and then quick-sauteed them with tomatoes in a garlic-oil mixture.  SO GOOD.  Taste and see!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken
adapted from Rachael Ray, original recipe here.

Serves 4

1 tsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bag (1.5-2 cups) shredded parmesan cheese (not the powdery stuff in a can, but the shreds in a bag)
Fresh ground black pepper

Heat a 10-12" nonstick skillet over medium-high and add your oil.

Pour the parmesan cheese into a pie dish or large plate and sprinkle with pepper.  One chicken breast at a time, press each side of the chicken breast into the cheese, forming a thin layer of cheese all over.  Whatever cheese is left, you can press it into the chicken by hand.

Place the chicken into the prepared skillet and let it sit there until the cheese isn't sticking at all to the bottom of the pan, about 5-7 minutes.  That's how you know it's ready to flip.  Flip the chicken and allow it to cook on the other side, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove from the pan and allow the chicken to rest.  Serve however- as a part of a pasta dish, with vegetables, with salad.


  • Really, this is so super easy, I don't have much to share.  My one big tip is one I remember from Rachael Ray- when you put the chicken in the skillet, don't move it around or try to flip it until it easily slides around on the pan's surface.  
  • When coating the chicken with the parmesan cheese, you're not using a binder, so it does take some work to get it to stick.  You won't have a uniform coating, and that's OK.  It does all work out in the pan.  

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