Panko-Parmesan oven-fried chicken salad with honey-Dijon dressing

IMG_9303A couple of weeks ago, Jess and I spent a lovely weekend in her hometown of Glenwood. We visited with her parents and brother (who was in from Colorado), and when the last, lazy Sunday came around, we gathered ’round the television and watched some reruns of Good Eats. The episode that stuck with me the most was one in which Alton Brown did all sorts of things with one of my favorite substances of all time: honey. He baked a honey cake, talked about bees, but the thing that got into my head was a simple mixture of honey and Dijon mustard that he recommended for salads or chicken fingers. Days went by, and I couldn’t get that craving out of my head — so I decided to whisk a batch up and combine Alton’s salad and chicken finger ideas into one glorious plate. Not wanting to fry the chicken, I decided to do the next best thing: coat some chicken breasts in Panko, the Japanese-style bread crumbs that make everything better, and throw in a little Parmesan cheese for flavor and cohesiveness. The results were outstanding.

Alton Brown’s Honey-Dijon Dressing

  • 5 tablespoons honey (we used some really good stuff from Whole Foods)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (we used some really cheap stuff from Kroger because I had a coupon)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (we used regular rice vinegar from Mr. Chen’s)

Whisk everything until blended. Yes, it really is this simple. Why would you ever buy honey-mustard at the store again when you can make it at home — especially since you can play around with different kinds of honey to change the flavor of this wonderful concoction?

For the chicken, create a coating with 1 cup panko and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Toss in some herbs de Provence if you have some. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 egg and another tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Salt and pepper your chicken, dip into the egg/mustard mixture, then coat with the panko/Parmesan. Bake on a wire rack atop a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes at 375. Let rest, slice thin, and build your salad. Enjoy!

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