Anyone craving summer yet or is it just me? Lemons remind me of a bright sunny summers day so I figured today is a good day for cooking with lemons. Plus I have a bunch of lemons I need to use up. I had this idea to create a recipe similar to Chicken Parmesan but with a few alternate flavors. I first envisioned creating a Romano, oregano and white sauce version then decided a better and healthier option vs. a creamy white sauce would simply be fresh lemon – both the zest and juice. So it wasn’t just Chicken Romano anymore, now I decided to call it Lemon Chicken Romano. This is similar to the Chicken Parmesan recipe I made a few weeks ago which I adapted to from Cook’s Illustrated because I loved the method for preparing it, to fry and then bake the Panko crusted chicken.
This recipe is definitely going to be added to my dinner rotation. It was easy and oh so delicious. I love the combination of the Greek/Italian flavors it is coated with. I also love the crispy and zesty exterior. If you’d happen to have fresh basil on hand that you’d like to use up, you can replace the fresh oregano with fresh basil, either way would be delicious but I would highly recommend giving the oregano version a try. The lemon, oregano, Romano combination is simply perfect in this entree. Also, that basil leaf on top is totally optional, I added it just for fanciness :). Enjoy!
Lemon Chicken Romano
- 2 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally*, and pounded to 1/2-inch thick
- 2 oz shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup)
- 2 oz shredded Provolone cheese (1/2 cup)
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 oz finely shredded Romano cheese (1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- Zest of 1 lemon (2 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon slices or wedges for serving (you can just use the one that was zested)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle each side of the chicken cutlet lightly with salt (about 1/16 tsp per each side), let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Combine Mozzarella and Provolone cheese in a bowl, set aside.
In a shallow dish, whisk together flour and egg until smooth. In a separate shallow dish, toss together Panko bread crumbs, Romano cheese, oregano, lemon zest, garlic powder and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working with 1 chicken cutlet at a time, dredge chicken in egg mixture coating both sides and allowing excess to run off, then immediately transfer to Romano mixture and coat both sides with mixture, while pressing gently to allow crumbs to adhere. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining chicken cutlets. Pour 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and vegetable oil into a 10-inch non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add 2 coated chicken cutlets and fry without moving them until bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes, then using metal tongs rotate to opposite side and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer fried chicken to a large plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat process with remaining 2 pieces of chicken.
Place cutlets on rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle tops with Mozzaralle cheese mixture and transfer to preheated oven to bake until internal temperature registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometor, about 12 minutes (you can broil during the last 1 - 2 minutes if desired). Remove from oven and garnish with lemon slices or wedges, serve warm. Squeeze fresh lemon juice from lemon slices over chicken just before enjoying.
*freeze chicken breasts for 15 minutes to help slice easier, then lye breast flat and trim into two pieces through the thickness of the breast.
Recipe Source: Cooking Classy