When all you really want is Chicken Parm…

chicken bruschetta

Chicken Parmesan might be one of my all time favorite things on this earth. But when you order it on a Saturday night out (like we did), you can’t make it again for dinner on Sunday. Therefore, we improvised and gave it a twist with this Panko Crusted Chicken, Tomato & Fennel dish. We skipped the cheese, added fresh toppings, and swapped out breadcrumbs for our favorite ingredient, PANKO. If you haven’t cooked with panko before, I highly recommend trying it. I bet you won’t even notice the difference! This dish is great to re heat the next day for lunch might I add. Lately, I’m trying to really make dishes that can carry us through at least one extra day of leftovers. Nick heats it up at work, but I actually prefer it cold the next day. We served the meal with a simple side salad using leftover vegetables in the fridge, and of course topped it with our home made balsamic dressing.

chicken bruschetta 2

Panko Crusted Chicken with Tomato & Fennel Bruschetta

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts, butterflied (sliced thinly in two)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg (well beaten)
  • Flour, chili powder, oregano, fennel seed, salt, pepper

For the bruschetta:

  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tomatoes (scrape out insides or bruschetta will get soggy)
  • 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • small pinch chili flakes
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions for chicken:

1) Butterfly the chicken breasts to get 4 thin sliced pieces (sometimes you can just buy the thin-sliced breasts). Salt & pepper generously.

2) Get 3 bowls ready…

a) one with 1 cup of flower with 1 tbsp of chili powder.

b)  one with a beaten egg

c) one with 1.5 cups panko breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp of fennel seeds.

3) Add each chicken breast to bowls 1, 2, and 3 in order, making sure to coat well each time.

4) Cook in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until golden (~7 mins per side). If the panko starts to burn, turn heat down to low and keep cooking.

Instructions for fennel bruschetta:

1) Use a mandolin the thinly slice the fennel bulb and red onion (if you don’t have one, slice them as thinly as possible.) Make sure to preserve the leaves of the fennel for later (add at the very end, or they get soggy.)

2) Saute the garlic with olive oil, until just golden.

3) Combine the fennel, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and spices. I’m gonna be honest… You might need to adjust the spices, lemon juince, and vinegar… I just improvised so not sure the proportions are exactly right. Don’t do this too far in advance, or it’ll get soggy.

We had a really great weekend with Charlotte, as Spring is in full force here in NYC. Park visits have become even more frequent (if that was at all possible), and we have started to use our rooftop. It’s getting us really excited for summer, picnics in the park, swim lessons for Charlotte, and Friday happy hours on the roof. Last summer I was pregnant, so needless to say I’m a tad excited to really enjoy this summer, and not feel like a sweaty, nervous whale! Below are a few pics Nick captured over the weekend.

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