Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Boneless chicken breasts dressed up with a savory crunchy crust. From Fine Cooking.
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat (6-7 oz. each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups toasted breadcrumbs (see below)
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olive, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
- 3⁄4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (about 3 large tomato halves, pat dry before chopping)
- 1 lemon, cut in wedges
- To make bread crumbs: Tear or cut 1/2 lb. firm, white, country style bread into 1-2" pieces. Put few handfuls into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse into coarse crumbs. Repeat until you have 4 cups of crumbs. Pour crumbs into mixing bowl and toos with 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted, unsalted butter. Heat large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until crumbs start to color and crisp, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring, until crumbs dry out and have browned nicely, about 6 minutes. Cool before using.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a flat rack on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
- With meat pounder, lightly pound chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to even out the thickness of the breasts.
- In a large bowl, mix the oil and mustard with half of the thyme, half of rosemary, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat well.
- Put breadcrumbs in large shallow dish and toss with the olives, parmigiano, sun-dried tomatoes and the remaining thyme and rosemary. If desired, let breasts marinate in fridge for 24 hours before proceeding.
- Working with one piece at a time, transfer chicken to the dish of crumbs, scoop some crumbs on top, and press well a couple of times so the crumbs adhere to both sides ( crumbs will be a little wet, so really press them on). Transfer to the rack on baking sheet.
- Bake chicken until it's firm to touch and register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately with the lemon wedges for squeezing over the chicken.