Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Basil and Potatoes with Peppers and Onions

Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


* 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fingerling potatoes or red skin baby potatoes
* 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
* 1 Italian mild green pepper, cubanelle, seeded and thinly sliced
* 1 medium yellow skinned onion, thinly sliced
* 4 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1/4 cup tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* Coarse salt and pepper
* 2 cups shredded Parmesan, available in tubs near deli -- make
sure to get shredded cheese, not grated
* 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 4 plum Roma tomatoes or small, vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 15 to 20 leaves fresh basil, pile leaves, roll then thinly slice
-- chiffonade


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Cut fingerling potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on
thickness of fingerlings -- thin, small fingerlings may also be left
hole, larger potatoes should be quartered to speed cooking process. If
you are using small red potatoes, halve or quarter them in the same

Cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Place potatoes on cookie sheet.
Combine with peppers and onions, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
Coat the potatoes, peppers and onions with extra-virgin olive oil just
enough to coat vegetables in a thin layer, 2 to 3 tablespoons. Season
liberally with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in the oven and roast
20 to 22 minutes, until potatoes are just tender and peppers and
onions are crisp at edges. Toss mixture with tongs, turning the
potatoes after 15 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, transfer them
to a serving dish and peel the foil off the cookie sheet and discard
for super-quick clean up!

While potatoes cook, prepare chicken. Roll out a 2-foot piece of waxed
paper or foil near the stove top. Heat a large nonstick skillet over
medium high heat -- your pan must be very hot when the chicken is
added. Pile the shredded cheese on the work surface created with the
waxed paper or foil. Season your chicken breasts with black pepper but
no salt; the cheese will add enough salt to the taste of the dish.
Press the breasts firmly into the cheese. Coat both sides of breasts
with as much cheese as possible. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive
oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Set breasts into the skillet
and cook 7 minutes on each side, until cheese forms an even, golden
casing around the tender chicken breasts.

While chicken cooks, combine chopped tomatoes with basil in a small
bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Drain off any excess oil from chicken as you remove it from the
skillet. Top chicken with big spoonfuls of raw sauce and serve with
potatoes, peppers and onions.


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