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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lemon Chicken Romano

Well, this was our new recipe for the week and it turned out spectacular!  I was very pleased, especially for a first attempt.  The chicken was tender and juicy, not overcooked, the crust was crispy, and the cheese was melted and bubbly brown the way I like it.  The breading was delicious and well seasoned.  I think the lemon zest and fresh oregano do a lot for this recipe.

This is very similar to chicken Parmesan, except with Romano cheese instead of the Parmesan.  You could totally use Parmesan in this recipe and I don't think it would make that much difference.  I don't think this is a recipe you should make on a whim.  It used several ingredients that I don't keep on hand such as the panko breadcrumbs, the fresh oregano, and the lemon, so put it on your next meal plan and make sure you get everything you need at the store.  It's well worth it.

I found the original recipe through Pinterest on Cooking Classy.  I haven't had a chance to check out the rest of her blog, but her pictures were probably better than mine, and as good as this one turned out I'd definitely be willing to try some of her other stuff too.

Lemon Chicken Romano

2 chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally
1 large egg
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 oz grated Romano cheese (about 1/2 cup) you could substitute Parmesan
1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges (about 2 tsp lemon zest and 6-8 wedges)
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup provolone, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray or line with foil and then spray with vegetable oil spray.

Add the egg and flour to a shallow bowl and mix with a fork until well combined.  In another shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Romano or Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper.

Mix gently with a fork until everything is evenly combined.  Pour the oils into a skillet over medium heat.  Combine the mozzarella and provolone cheese in a bowl and set aside.  When the oil is hot begin breading the chicken.

Sprinkle both sides of a piece of chicken with salt, then dip in the egg mixture, turning once to coat completely.  Allow the excess egg mixture to drip off, then place in the breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides of the chicken with the mixture.  Press it on gently  to be sure it sticks.

Place the breaded chicken into the hot oil.  Repeat the process for the rest of the chicken.  I had to do this in two batches.  I cooked 2 pieces of chicken at a time in the pan because my pan was too small to fit all of the chicken without crowding it.

Cook the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, turning only once and not moving it in the pan once you put it down.  This will keep the breading from coming off while cooking.  Once the chicken is golden brown on both sides move it to a plate lined with paper towels.

Gently pat the oil off of the chicken, then move the chicken to the prepared cookie sheet.

Sprinkle the mozzarella/provolone mixture over each piece of chicken and place the pan in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble and brown, about 12 minutes.  (If you want the cheese extra brown and bubbly turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes.)

Serve warm with a lemon wedge or two.  Sprinkle a bit of fresh lemon juice on each bite before eating.  It brings out the fresh flavors of the lemon zest and oregano in the breading.

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