If I could eat chicken every meal, I would be a string bean. Chicken, you see (unless it’s fried) has no calories. In fact, chicken has the unique ability to suck existing calories right out of your body. If all you ate was chicken, you would eventually disappear into thin air.
Knowing that, one would assume that people who are trying to lose weight would eat chicken every meal. The problem with that is that after about three straight weeks of nothing but chicken, you begin strewing cereal on the floor and scratching for it at breakfast. A cheeseburger every now and then eliminates that strange habit.
Obviously, we all should eat more chicken, but it gets boring after a while and I enjoy cooking a variety of meats and fish. This year, however, I am going to make a concentrated effort to try new and interesting chicken recipes and eat it as often as possible, since I have about 15 pounds that need to go away.
A few nights ago, I concocted a chicken dish that turned out very well. I call it Chicken Parm Panko.
Basically, you make a sauce out of mayonnaise, seasoned salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper and finely sliced Parmesan cheese.
Smother the chicken breast with the sauce, sprinkle with Panko crumbs, bake at 375 for 45 minutes and you’re in business.
You can use boneless, skinless breasts but I find them to be the ultimate in blah chicken, so I use split chicken breasts with the skin on and bone in. First, this cut of chicken is most economical. For about $5, you can get two huge pieces. Sure, there are a few extra calories in the little bit of skin on the breasts, but the skin adds flavor, makes a nice crunchy crust and the breastbones also add flavor and juices.
One split breast is generally plenty for a serving and if there’s some leftover, they make great sandwiches for lunch the next day. Next to a thigh, the split breast is my favorite piece of chicken. Try it.
Chicken Parm Panko
1 package of split chicken breasts
½ C mayonnaise (I like Duke’s Light)
1 t seasoned salt
1 t garlic powder
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C Panko Crumbs