Mom's Healthy Pan-Fried Chicken

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A family-favorite, “Mom’s chicken” is actually how my kids refer to this dish, and I have to admit that it’s a good one! Though it has “fried” in its name, the recipe’s inspiration came from a Weight Watchers one that I ran across several years ago.  It jumped out at me because it called for cooking lightly breaded chicken breasts in a little bit of butter – something that I figured was worth trying if Weight Watchers recommended it! 

And as it turns out, browning the chicken in a little bit of hot melted butter is the secret to transforming basic chicken to “Mom’s famous” chicken. It creates a golden crust with a rich, slightly decadent flavor – one that oil just can’t quite provide.   

I just cook it a few minutes on each side before transferring to the oven to finish the cooking process - mainly because I can never seem to get chicken cooked just right in the skillet. But the end result is 10-minutes of hands-free cook time and crispy, pan-fried chicken that’s juicy and perfectly cooked. 

I like to serve the chicken over some greens tossed with a light lemon dressing or vinaigrette to balance the chicken’s rich buttery crust. Tessamae's Lemon Garlic marinade and dressing is a fav to use, but Zoe’s Kitchen’s homemade dressing is also good.  Served over greens, you’ve got a full meal, but it’s just as easy to serve without greens and with side dishes for kids. 

See the best shallow dredging dishes that make prep much easier!

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Mom's Healthy Pan-Fried Chicken

A family-favorite, “Mom’s chicken” is actually how my kids refer to this dish, and I have to admit that it’s a good one! The secret is to cook over melted butter to create a golden crust with a rich, slightly decadent flavor – one that oil just can’t quite provide. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken cutlets*
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup whole-wheat or gluten-free panko
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter

METHOD

  1. Place chicken on a large cutting board or platter; sprinkle flour, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, turning to coat both sides of chicken. 
  2. Place egg in a shallow bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water or milk, whisking to combine. In a shallow dish, combine panko, cheese, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper and garlic powder. Take one floured chicken breast and dip in egg mixture, turning to coat. Remove, and place in panko mixture to lightly coat both sides of chicken. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken breasts, flour mixture, egg mixture and final panko mixture. 
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat butter in a large cast-iron or oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted and bubbly, add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until crust begins to turn golden. 
  4. Remove skillet from heat; place in a pre-heated oven. Cook at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until chicken to turn golden. 

*You can also use chicken breasts by flattening them with a meat mallet or rolling pin to ½ to ¾-inch thickness.


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