Herby Oven Fried Chicken with Mediterranean Salad
This recipe packs a wonderful flavor punch because there are so many delicious Mediterranean ingredients working in harmony. This is also a great example of a healthy fried chicken meal. Instead of deep-fried chicken, the chicken is ‘oven fried’ which means it will be juicy and crispy but with a far lower fat content. While the chicken is oven frying you can assemble the salad, then just add the chicken pieces while they are still warm, for a healthy yet hearty lunch or dinner.
Cut chicken breasts in half (lengthwise) so you end up with 6 portions. If you like, you can cut them again so you have 12 smaller portions, but that is up to you. You can also cut the chicken after it has finished cooking. Once the marinade has had time to penetrate into the meat, you will dip the chicken into a Parmesan and breadcrumb mixture and then it is ready to go in the oven. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the chicken pieces and also on your oven so keep an eye on it. It can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to cook, but 30 minutes is the average.
The chicken is served on a bed of salad made from salad leaves, mandarin orange segments, red onion and tomato, and then you can sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and serve right away while the chicken is still warm from the oven. This makes a delicious lunch or is hearty enough to be served as an evening meal.
- 3 halved, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon fresh crushed rosemary
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray, as needed
- 1 medium bag mixed salad leaves or ½ chopped head of lettuce
- 1 small can mandarin orange segments, drained
- 2 chopped ripe tomatoes
- ½ sliced red onion
- Handful grated Parmesan cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to serve
- Put the chicken breast halves in a Ziploc bag.
- Combine the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mayonnaise, rosemary, thyme, salt and black pepper to make a marinade.
- Pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken.
- Close the bag and shake, then put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Use foil to line a baking sheet, then put a wire rack on top and spray it with cooking spray.
- Take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off any excess.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and grind some salt and black pepper into the mixture too.
- Dip the chicken into the breadcrumb mixture, then arrange on the wire rack.
- Spray a little cooking spray on top of the chicken.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy on the outside and no longer pink on the inside.
- Combine the lettuce with the mandarin orange segments, red onion and tomatoes.
- Divide between 6 plates.
- Add the warm chicken and sprinkle cheese on top.
- Serve with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar so people can dress their own.
This wonderful chicken recipe can be prepared in advance if you wish. Toss the salad ingredients together and cook the chicken ahead, then simply assemble the meals when you are ready. This makes it ideal for a busy weeknight. The photo shows how colorful you can expect the chicken salad to be, and you can be creative with the salad ingredients if you wish, adding other ingredients like radish, pineapple chunks, olives or cucumber. The chicken may be served hot, warm or chilled, as you like. Oven frying the chicken ensures it remains juicy inside while the outside crisps up nicely.
Picture, recipes and/or content upgraded: 04-05-16
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