You can make this crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside chicken once a week and no one will complain! It’s quite straightforward to put together, and truly everyone likes it.

Tips:

  • I keep fresh breadcrumbs in the freezer all the time, so that speeds things up. (I gather the ends of our bread loaves, keep them in the freezer, and throw them in the food processor when I have enough.)
  • It also helps to keep a hunk of Parmigiano in the fridge at all times! (Or if you have access to good quality store-grated Parmigiano, that’s fine.) I like to use the food processor to chop the Parmigiano into a fine pebbly texture as opposed to grating it into a more feathery texture.
  • Put your crumb mixture in a pie plate or shallow rimmed plate. When you’re ready to coat, put one chicken piece on top of the crumbs with one hand (this hand will be wet from the mustard mixture on the chicken) and use the other (dry) hand to pat crumbs over and around the chicken, flipping once or twice (carefully) to make sure the breast is thoroughly coated.
  • If your chicken breasts are large and very thick at one end, cut the breast in half, leave the thinner end alone, and butterfly the thicker end so that it is thinner.
  • I cook this chicken at 425 degrees F in my oven. That works nicely for me and the breasts come out very moist. But if your oven runs very hot, feel free to turn it down to 400 degrees F.
  • You will need a rack or racks (to fit into a rimmed baking sheet) for the chicken. I love my silicone racks.


Serves 3 to 4

  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts (3 large or 4 medium) 
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange a rack or racks on it. If your racks are not silicone or nonstick, rub a tiny pit of oil over the top.

2. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix well with your fingers until the olive oil has coated all the crumbs. Pour into a rimmed plate or a pie plate.

3. Put the chicken into a mixing bowl and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the mustard, mayonnaise and lemon juice to the bowl and stir them together. Toss and coat the chicken pieces with the mixture.

4. Transfer one piece of chicken to the bread crumb mixture. Pat crumbs over the top, flip and pat more on the other side until the piece is thoroughly coated in the crumb mixture. Transfer to the rack on the sheet tray. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

5. Bake until the chicken reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer (insert sideways), about 25 minutes, depending on thickness. The crumb coating will be browned. Serve right away.