Crunchy, unctuous and tender — three words that perfectly describe the texture of this flavorsome recipe.
Often, it’s the simple, classic combinations that we keep coming back to. This is a perfectly balanced meal that will please even the fussiest eater and become a go-to for quick meals on weekdays. With a helping of protein, a serving of vegetables and finished off with delicious cheese — roasted parmesan chicken and tomatoes is a delight. Garlic, mustard and parsley combine to bring a delectable, Italian style flavor and add to the nutritional prowess of this fantastic meal.
The Origins Of Parmesan Chicken
Our recipe is a take on the classic Italian inspired dish, Chicken Parmigiana, which is a favorite in pubs and homes around the world. Most sources believe that Mellenzana Alla Parmigiana inspired parmesan chicken. This Southern Italian dish is made in a casserole dish and constructed of eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil. Our recipe is a deconstructed version to that which is typically seen, with the tomatoes on the side. This ensures that the topping stays crispy and the individual eater can mix the flavors as they see fit.
Eggplant parmigiana is thought to originate in Sicily, where eggplants were first found in Italy and where the vegetable is celebrated in the local culture. The origin of the name is hotly contested — with one camp simply thinking that the title is derived from the name of the cheese, parmigiana, that is a crucial component. Another camp says the name comes from the word, palmigiana, meaning shutters in Italian and referring to the aesthetic of the layered eggplant slices.
It seems that Italian-American settlers in the 18th century adapted the dish for local tastes and included the heartier ingredient, chicken, instead of eggplant. As the popularity of the dish grew, visitors and emigrants from the United States have spread the chicken parmigiana adaptation around the world.
The History Of Tomatoes
The tomato has a tumultuous past. Around the 18th century, Europeans feared the tomato and thought of it as a poisoned apple. This was down to the fact that aristocrats at the time ate their food from pewter plates, which have high lead content. The acidity from the tomatoes activated the lead and killed the person eating the fruit via lead poisoning. It took people a long time to realize that it was the plates and not the tomato itself, causing the problem.
The tomato was eaten by Aztecs, dating back to as early as 700 AD. Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century are credited with bringing the seeds to Europe and the rest, as they say, is history.
Recipe And Preparation
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
500g ripe tomatoes
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Side salad and garlic bread to serve
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Arrange chicken breasts on a foil-lined baking tray and season them generously.
- In a bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, oil, parsley and garlic.
- Spread the mustard on each breast and then cover them with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Arrange the tomatoes around the chicken and season. Bake for 16 minutes and then serve immediately.
Roasted parmesan chicken with tomatoes is a hearty meal that pleases pretty much any palate. It’s super easy to make and is a celebration of simple textures and flavors that makes for an outstanding eating experience.