There are so many reasons you should make Panko Parmesan Crusted Lemon Chicken. First, everybody loves it – this dish always gets rave reviews. It’s lemony but not overly so, and the panko breadcrumbs (Japanese style breadcrumbs) produce a golden brown crispy crust on thin cutlets that have been infused with delicious seasonings. Panko Parmesan Crusted Lemon Chicken is pan fried quickly so it stays juicy and tastes light yet satisfying. Aside from being absolutely delicious it has a lot of other things going for it. It’s versatile, freezes well, and tastes great hot or cold. You can serve it as is with a squeeze of lemon juice, use it to make chicken ceasar salad and chicken parmesan, or put it between two slices of bread with the condiment(s) of your choice to make a sandwich.
Here’s the set up I use to make Panko Parmesan Crusted Lemon Chicken. Use a large shallow dish to hold the panko parmesan crumbs so you have ample room to easily coat the cutlets. It’s important to use VERY finely grated parmesan cheese – the texture should resemble breadcrumbs. (I have had good luck with the brand Cello, which I purchase at Costco.) In this recipe the egg mixture serves a dual purpose – it provides the coating that allows the panko parmesan mixture to stick to the cutlets, but because it contains olive oil and seasonings it also acts as a marinade.
Most recipes for breaded cutlets call for a three stage process whereby you dredge the meat in flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs. This recipe simplifies things by omitting the flour. As long as you press the panko parmesan crumbs FIRMLY into the cutlets, as shown above, and use a GOOD QUALITY non-stick pan to cook them, the coating adheres and stays on just fine. Omitting the flour also makes it easy to convert this recipe to a gluten-free version. Simply replace the panko breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs. I prefer using panko because it produces a slightly crispier crust, but I have tried this recipe with gluten-free bread crumbs and it comes out great.
Be sure to squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top before you take your first bite to elevate the lemony brightness.
Another option is to serve this dish with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Basil Cahew Pesto. Yum! This is a perfect meal for casual entertaining, tailgates, picnics, and gestures of goodwill such as when you want to make dinner for a friend or family member. Crispy, lemony, juicy and delicious, Panko Parmesan Crusted Lemon Chicken is a real crowd pleaser.
- 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, about 3 lbs. total
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 3 lemons
- ¼ cup +2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2¼ cups finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Place each chicken breast on a cutting board and hold it flat with the palm of your non-knife hand. Using a sharp knife (preferably a fillet knife) slice the chicken breast horizontally into two even pieces. You’ll end up with a total of 8 chicken cutlets. (see notes below)
- Juice and zest one lemon. In a large shallow dish whisk together the eggs, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, zest, ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Lay the chicken cutlets in the baking dish and coat each with the egg mixture. Give each cutlet a few pokes/punctures with a fork to allow the seasonings in the egg mixture to better permeate the meat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
- Combine the parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs in another large shallow dish. Melt 2 teaspoons of butter along with 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large, good quality, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. One by one lay the chicken cutlets in the parmesan/panko mixture. Spoon the parmesan/panko crumbs over the top and press the mixture VERY firmly into each cutlet with the back of the spoon. Lift the cutlet out of the dish with a fork and gently shake off the excess panko/parmesan before placing in the hot skillet.
- Cook 3 breaded cutlets at a time for 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Cut the lemons into wedges and serve with the cutlets.
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