When the weekend rolls around I am mostly in the mood for cooking slightly more extravagant meals. During the week we usually indulge in quick and easy meals. Couscous, rice, some vegetables and of course sandwiches and salads. I do not cook every night. By the time we are home and done with chores, homework and such things there is not too much time to get into the kitchen and cook a larger meal.
Unlike most Indian families, we eat fairly early in the evening. It's the habit of my German better half I find suits us better. On the weekend then, we are relaxed and I will spend more time playing around in the kitchen and depending on what activities we have planned for the day, we'll have a big lunch or dinner. I like the weekends! I have time for my mis-en-place while listening to my favorite music and drinking a glass of wine. To me it comes close to meditating.
And then meals like this often come about. No it's not that difficult - just lovely organic chicken breasts, coated in a crust of Parmesan cheese and chopped Thai basil. The lemony almost liquorice-like flavor of the Thai basil is subtle but it's there because it adds that je ne sais quoi to the chicken. A medley of roasted sweet and new potato sticks aromatized with maple syrup and a touch of smoky paprika powder and finally haricots verts sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with thyme.
I used homemade breadcrumbs from leftover German wholewheat bread for the crust but you can use whatever you have. I often save a variety of leftover bread and then give it a good whiz in the food processor to make my own breadcrumbs, which I then store in air-tight containers. The result for the crust on this chicken is a slightly nuttier and more rustic flavor.
Parmesan and Thai Basil Chicken
[Print recipe here]
4 chicken breasts fillets
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons Thai basil, finely chopped
50g breadcrumbs, preferably wholewheat
20g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
some plain flour
1 large sweet potato, cut into finger thick wedges
5-8 new potatoes, cut into finger thick wedges
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
Good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
500g fine haricots verts/green beans
extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
few springs of thyme, leaves finely chopped
Salt and pepper
garlic butter (optional)
Leftover chicken make great sandwiches the next day. Here's what I did: in small baguette bread rolls, spread some tahini sauce and added slices of cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions to one half of the roll. Season with salt and pepper and then place the chicken breast slices, drizzle with some more tahini sauce. Cover with the other half of the bread roll and enjoy! If you have any of the beans leftover you can add these to the sandwiches too!
- Preheat oven to approx. 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- In a saucepan heat a generous glug of olive oil, the paprika and maple syrup on low heat. Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper.
- Place the potato wedges in a bowl, add the paprika-oil and toss to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes on the baking tray in a single layer and bake in the oven for approx. 30 minutes or until golden and tender.
- Meanwhile prepare the chicken: Season with salt and pepper then place some plain flour in a large freezer bag. Place the egg and Thai basil in a deep plate, and the breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper in a another deep plate.
- Place the chicken breasts one at a time into the bag with the flour and toss to coat. Take out and shake off excess, then dip the breasts in the egg mixture and finally dip into the breadcrumb-cheese mixture. Press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to coat evenly. Place the chicken breasts on a plate or a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat some oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Remove the chicken from the fridge and cook in batches on both sides for 2-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. This depends on the thickness of your chicken breasts. Place on some kitchen towel to soak any excess oil.
- For the haricots verts, heat up a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, add the chopped shallots and sauté till translucent. Add the beans and the thyme and continue to sauté till the bean are soft but still crunchy. Do not overcook.
- Serve the chicken cut into thick slices with garlic butter, the potato wedges and beans. Enjoy.
We always enjoy such meals. With a medley of flavors that come together and harmonize so well. The best part of this meal is of course the chicken. The crispy crust and the succulent chicken offer a feast for the eyes and then the flavors of the Parmesan and Thai basil highlights the tastebuds so exquisitely. Thumbs up from my men too, both enjoyed the delicious flavors of the meal.
Weekend's here and I hope you have fun and bon appetite!
You might like these chicken dishes from WFLH:
|Coconut & Cashew Chicken Satay Skewers||Lime Chicken and Vegetable Farro Risotto||Spicy Chicken Legumes with Pinto Beans and Chickpeas|
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