Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Arugula Salad

This post is quick and dirty, almost befitting of the dish — in that the dish is quick. It could be dirty if you decided to rub your chicken breasts all over the floor or the butt of your household pet, but it’s not recommended.

You’re welcome for that visual. It’s just part of the service I provide.

This dish is perfect for a quick, nutritious meal. It’s tremendously fast to make, makes very little mess and tastes pretty darn good, especially for the small amount of effort it takes to make it. It’s a very basic dish so you have all kinds of room to play and add oomph. You could probably add crumbled bacon on top of the breasts for a little something extra. Or some mild cheese. Whatever. The world is your oyster.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken With Arugula Salad

This photo is accurate to the written recipe, which came my way from the Food & Wine Recipe of the Day. It’s a simple chicken breast with a light dijon mustard and parmesan crust, and the accompanying salad is given the same dijon dressing. Now, I thought I’d hate the dijon dressing, because the idea of mustard on salad really disgusts me, but I actually liked it. Combining it with olive oil mutes the strong tang of the mustard, and the taste is a little more than above average, though not quite superb. It’s in the middle there somewhere. Playing with the ingredients is the key to making it yours. I’m still thinking about the bacon, and maybe melting a thin slice of mild cheese on top. Though it’s not in the picture, I added a little more veggies to the salad, as well as sourdough croutons.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken with Arugula Salad
Courtesy of Food & Wine

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
4 cups packed arugula leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 475°. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the mustard with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and the thyme. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then brush them all over with the mustard mixture. Pat 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan all over each breast. Transfer the chicken breasts to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the chicken on the top shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until just cooked through and nicely browned.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon each of mustard and olive oil; stir in 1/2 teaspoon of water. Add the arugula and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Spoon the salad onto plates, top with the chicken and serve.

One serving 288 calories, 9.4 gm total fat, 3.1 gm saturated fat, 4 gm carb.

This falls down just slightly because it’s not something I would crave, but I wouldn’t be disappointed in eating it either. Clean up is very easy, making this a good choice for a weeknight or just a night when you’re on low energy.

Weeknight Dish: B+
Overall Rating: B

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