Thursday, March 5, 2009

When the Stock Market gives you lemons.....make Lemon Chicken!

I've been paying entirely too much attention to the news in the past few weeks. Just yesterday one of my dearest friends gently accused me of having an unhealthy obsession with current events. Why would she say that? Just because when I'm at home by myself during the day, I keep CNBC on in my kitchen? Maybe I enjoy the company of all of those talking heads, and their non-stop chatter about stocks, bonds, charts, graphs, and all things financial.

I'm constantly checking that little green ticker in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen....usually I'm tracking it's downward trend...sinking, plunging, tanking. Around 5:30 I switch on Brian Williams, because I then need to get his take on the day's events. Of course, since I've been paying attention, he usually just re-hashes everything I already know.

Confession: I adore Brian Williams...clean-cut, preppy, smart...swoon! I once dreamt that he was my boyfriend....I know that's weird....don't tell anyone I said that out loud.

Anyway, my point is that all of this bad news puts me in a sour mood...hence, the 'you need a break from the news' lecture from my friend. "So, the economy is horrible," she said. "You can't do a single thing about it. Turn on HGTV or the Food Network! Take a weeklong break from the news and stop stressing!"

Because I also adore and have great respect for my friend, I've taken her advice. I've turned my attention to the gorgeous, sunshiny lemons that are on sale this week, and made this terrific Panko Crusted Lemon Chicken. Crispy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside, with just a little hint of fresh lemon, it's just the ticket for kicking a sour mood.

See the side bar for a great side dish, Orzo Pilaf with Vegetables!

Here's the recipe:

Panko Crusted Lemon Chicken with Parmesan
Adapted from this recipe
Serves: 6

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 T. fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 c. Panko breadcrumbs (find these on the bottom shelf of the Asian aisle)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
2 t. grated lemon peel, rind only

2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
Lemon slices for garnish

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Sandwich the chicken breasts between pieces of heavy duty plastic wrap, and take out your aggressions on the stock market by pounding each breast to a thickness of about 1/2 an inch. Place the pounded breasts into a non-reactive baking dish and pour 4 T. lemon juice over, turning to coat. Let stand 10 minutes. Beat eggs and remaining 1 T. lemon juice in a medium bowl. Combine Panko, Parmesan, and lemon peel in a pie plate. Season liberally with salt and fresh black pepper.

If you're in to making cleanup easy on yourself, have ready a large plate lined with foil.

Dip 1 chicken breast into the egg mixture. Dip in the Panko mixture to coat; gently shake off the excess. Transfer to foil-lined plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a heavy duty skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 pieces of chicken and saute until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes a side. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining chicken in 2 more batches, adding 1 T of butter and 1 T. olive oil with each batch. Garnish your platter with lemon slices and serve.

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