I've been making different versions of this recipe for years, but the inspiration for this latest creation is Gwyneth Paltrow's Chicken Milanese recipe from her My Father's Daughter cookbook. If you don't own it, it's definitely a cookbook worth having if you like fresh, simple, and healthy food. It's full of absolutely stellar recipes that are sure to inspire you in the kitchen (no, I'm not being paid to say that...it's just one home cook's opinion!).
1 pound or cherry grape tomatoes (I use the Concerto grape tomatoes by Windset Farms)
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 3/4 cups whole grain breadcrumbs, or whichever variety you prefer
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approximately 4 oz each when cooked)
3/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
a pinch of salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 or 3 large handfuls of fresh organic spinach
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the tomatoes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss them in 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Let the tomatoes roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish...
Add the breadcrumbs to a bowl, along with the oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Toss these ingredients together and set them aside.
Add the two eggs to a bowl and whisk them with a fork for about a minute to combine the yolks with the whites.
Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally, creating two thin pieces from each chicken breast (8 in total). Thinner pieces of chicken cook much more quickly than a whole chicken breast, making them perfect for pan frying.
Dip each piece of chicken breast in the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture one at a time, making sure each chicken piece is well coated.
Add a little olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat on the stove top. I use only about 2-3 tbsp of oil in total, so about 1 tsp per piece should suffice. Pan-fry each chicken piece for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until they're cooked through with an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature). The breadcrumbs will become nice and crispy and the chicken will remain tender and juicy.
Be sure to pan-fry these on a fairly low heat. If the heat is too high, the breadcrumbs will burn instead of brown and the chicken won't cook through.
As you're almost done pan-frying the chicken pieces the tomatoes will probably reach their 40 minute mark, so remove them from the oven. They should look like this:
Oh. My. Goodness. How good do those look? That's a pan full of flavour right there.
Add a few handfuls of fresh organic spinach to the pan with the tomatoes and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the whole thing. Toss the hot tomatoes, the spinach and the balsamic together. The heat and the juice from the tomatoes will cause the spinach to wilt slightly and everything will soak up the flavour of the balsamic.
Once the chicken pieces have all been pan-fried, you're ready to serve! Place two chicken pieces on a plate, top them with a heaping spoonful of the spinach and tomatoes, and you've got a dinner that looks like it hopped off the page of a cookbook and onto your table! Don't you love it when that happens!?!
The herb-crust on the chicken gives a flavourful nod to the Italian roots of this dish (Chicken Milanese, or 'Milanesa' as the Italians call it, originated in Milan and is Italy's answer to the German or Austrian Schnitzel), and the fresh roasted tomatoes and spinach give it an even more flavourful modern, healthy flair.
You can serve this dish on a bed of whole grain pasta tossed in some garlic, olive oil and Parmesan to round out the meal, if you wish, but I like to enjoy it just as it is!
This recipe makes 4 very generous-sized servings and each serving is only 12 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, so it's a perfect healthy meal that's just bursting with fresh flavours.
I hope you enjoyed this one! Let me know if you give it a try!