Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lemon Pepper Crusted Chicken

First, let me apologize for the fact that there's only one picture, and that it was taken with the camera on my phone. I'm not going to lie, I've been looking forward to trying this ever since someone mentioned a similar recipe on Twitter a few days ago. Waiting around for a food photo shoot was the last thing I wanted to do when this was plated and ready to be eaten.

Furthermore, I don't think I can quite get across how easy this recipe is. Chances are you probably have half of the stuff to make it already in your house, too. This recipe serves two but can easily be multiplied to however many you need... it's another one of those where the amount of each ingredient doesn't really matter.

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Approximately a half cup of Mayonnaise
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Spices of your choice- I went with garlic powder and chilli powder
Panko Lemon Pepper Bread Crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

If your chicken breasts are thick, pound them out a little. I didn't have a meat pounder (I'm sure that's the official term...) at our apartment in Chicago so I just kind of hit them a bunch with the bottom of my fist while they were still in their package.
(Who says you need classy tools to cook!?)

Mix mayo, some grated parmesan cheese, and a hefty sprinkling of garlic and chilli powder together. Sorry these aren't more official terms, but use as much or as little as you like. You don't want the mixture to get TOO thick so just add a little at a time where the cheese is concerned.

Coat one side of a chicken breast at a time with a little covering of the mayo mixture and then cover in bread crumbs. Flip and do the same, then repeat with the other chicken breast.

Put chicken breasts on a slightly greased (or buttered, or olive oiled, whatever you have on hand) pan. If you have a broiling pan, these are ideal so the bottom doesn't get soggy. You could also just use a wire rack on top of another pan, or any other contraption you can come up with. We don't need to be too technical with this one.

Bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes until the chicken feels firm ( or "done"- just cut one open to check if you need to) and the bread crumbs are golden brown. I put them in for 15 and then flipped them over and left them in the rest of the time on the other side. You might want to turn the broiler on for 5 minutes or so towards the end just to make them a little bit more golden, but that's really just for visual appeal.

And TA-DA! Super moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside, this chicken is ready for you to eat! We had it with a serving of linguine with a homemade alfredo and then some lemon pepper sauteed broccoli and peppers, but you can serve it with just about anything: roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, any other kind of pasta, pasta with red sauce for a "chicken parmesean" of sorts, rice and vegetables... whatever suits your tastes!

ENJOY... I sure did!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Denver in (Food) Pictures

I just returned to Chicago yesterday after what seems like an all-too-short trip to Denver. As usual, one of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity to try some great new restaurants. Here's a picture recap of some of the amazing meals of the trip from two of the restaurants we were able to check out, Panzano and The Berkshire (Both happen to place emphasis on sourcing locally).


With contemporary Northern Italian cuisine embodying the Italian motto "Those who eat well, live well," downtown Denver's Panzano has been named among the city's top 5 restaurants and has a mouth-watering menu slightly outside of what you might expect at a typical Italian restaurant. Trying to pick just two of the entrees proved to be a challenge, but we ended up with the Carbonara a la Panzano with shrimp and a special featuring a rosemary cream sauce and house-made lamb sausage, finishing with the Tiramisu which utilizes champagne instead of rum for a delectable twist on this classic. (Not pictured is the FABULOUS grilled Caesar salad which involves a 10 second toss on the grill of the romaine for a slight smokey flavor.)

The Berkshire

This pork-starring restaurant in the Stapleton area serves an array of comfort food and traditional sandwiches with a little bit of extra pizazz. The Berkshire was yet another restaurant where we could have easily ordered half the menu. In a blue cheese craving I settled on the Bacon and Blue Cheese stuffed burger served on Ciabatta with the most amazing and perfectly crispy fries, and also had the opportunity to try a bite of the pulled pork sliders. The Berkshire not only serves lunch and dinner but also has a special brunch menu. Check it out for yourself on their website.

I'm looking forward to *hopefully* becoming a Denver resident in the next few months and in turn being able to explore the menus of both Panzano and the Berkshire a little more thoroughly and see what else the city has to offer.

Friday, October 7, 2011

West Side Nut Club's Fall Festival

It's that time of year again: Evansville's West Side Nut Club's Fall Festival. It's known for being the "2nd largest street fair" in the country or something like that, but it goes along with the fact that Evansville has been recognized as being the most overweight city in the country in that you can get deep fried ANYTHING at this fest.

You can also get just about any kind of weird food you could imagine: brain sandwiches, pickle juice slushies, kangaroo, alligator on a stick, fried kool-aid... you name it. I tend to take the safe route, though last year I did make a brief attempt at a sucker with a scorpion inside. Pretty sure it got stuck in my hair or something like that before I actually got to the scorpion, but I'm sure I would have wussed out anyways.

Deep fried cookie dough... yum!

Twisted Tea for the girls and beer for the boys

Fried green beans

Chicken fried bacon

"Deep fried thin mints"... though it seemed more like a thin mint trapped inside a donut ball.

The best policy is really to go with a group of people and just try little samples of everything everyone gets. I wasn't feeling it as much this year and didn't get too wild or eat all that much, because all the "fried" really gets to you after a while. Definitely worth checking out if you're ever bored the first week of October and within easy travel distance... or if you're someone who is really attracted to the idea of eating Turkey Testicles or a Brain on a bun. *gag*

Read more about the Fall Festival in posts from last year here or here.

Or, if you're feeling really adventurous, look at the entire "Munchie Map" to see every last thing the Fall Fest has to offer here.