When I was in high school eons ago when the world was new and all….I was not known for being cutting edge. I was the very last one to break down and try to style my hair a la Farrah Fawcett. I was skeptical of straight leg jeans and wore elephant bells well beyond the point that everyone else had cigarette leg jeans going on…I refused to give up my platforms for ballet flats…and even after I got married I fought getting a microwave until the late 1980s.
I mean, I don’t believe the world is flat or anything but I do resist new things. So it should not surprise you when I say that up until a few days ago I had not used Panko crumbs.
I know. I know. Everyone has used Panko…for everything. I am pretty sure I even heard of someone using it for spackle. What can I say? I told you, I am technology resistant. But curiousity got the best of me and I furtively picked up a box of Panko crumbs when I was shopping last week, carefully hiding it under the organic flour and vital wheat gluten.
When I got home I watched the kids unload the van and put things away. This is truly why everyone should have children. They are like little oompa loompas carrying out the menial tasks that are so prevalent in the home. When they got to the Panko crumbs there were the inevitable questions.
“Mom, what’s this?”
“I read that. What’s it for?”
“Cooking. Don’t you have some math to do?”
In our house the trump card is always asking about school. Being homeschoolers we don’t often take a full summer off. Generally the kids hope that I get busy writing and forget that they are supposed to be writing reports on primitive cultures, in Latin. The especially hope that I forget about math.
So there the Panko box was, leering at me from the pantry shelf, next to the box of Organic Free Range Chicken Broth on one side and Seventh Generation Dishwasher Soap on the other. Everytime I walked into the pantry I could feel its desire for me, its plotting to have me completely, to indulge my desire for the unknown.
And I caved. I did. I wanted to do chicken breast with maple chipotle glaze but I wanted it to be a little beyond that. I mean smooth chicken, herbed salad, boiled potatoes? Smooth…and boring. A crispy crumb coating would add texture, excitement, depth. The deed was done; I had been seduced.
It. Was. Amazing.
The chicken breast is tender and juicy, the crumb layer crisp and crunchy, the glaze is sweet smoky, and spicy. And it is easy. You can easily have this on the table in under an hour.
My menu was:
Panko Breaded Chicken with Maple Chipotle Glaze
Potatoes with Cilantro Butter
Baby Herb Salad with Balsamic and Maple Vinaigrette
An apple or pear dessert, even sliced with cheese, would be a beautiful finish.
When we had a tea room we would slice the chicken breast in half horizontally. You get two chicken breasts for every one, it is still plenty of food, and it cooks faster. Just make sure you have a sharp knife and cut parallel to your hand.
Here is a series of images to help you visualize it.
Breaded Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless chicken breasts sliced horizontally.
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 cup Panko plain crumbs
- Peanut oil or olive oil for shallow frying
- Preheat oven to 350
- Place eggs in a large bowl
- Place mixed flour, salt, and pepper on a plate
- Place crumbs onto another plate
- Dip chicken into flour, covering well
- Dip into egg
- Coat with crumbs
- Heat about 2 tbs of the oil in a frying pan until it ripples
- Place 2 chicken breasts at a time into the pan and fry until golden
- Turn and fry on the other side until golden
- Repeat with all of the chicken
- Place in oven until meat thermometer reads 165F. The finished temperature should be 170F but it will continue to cook as it stands. This will probably take about 15 minutes.
Maple Chipotle Sauce
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 – 2 tablesppons chopped chipotle in adobo
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- Cook onion in butter over medium low heat until transparent
- Add chipotle and syrup and simmer, stirring often, until reduced by half.
- For a thicker sauce that is more like a glaze process the sauce until smooth.
Coat the plate with a few tablespoons of the sauce. Lay the chicken breast on top and dribble a little of the sauce over the top.