Parmesan Chicken

Lemon Artichoke, 

"Pine nut and Parmesan encrusted chicken, pan fried in olive oil, with bow tie pasta and a creamy lemon, basil, artichoke sauce."

Ingredients

12 ounce box bow tie pasta cooked in salted water to desired tenderness.

Artichoke Basil Paste

1 cup lightly packed basil

1/2 cup lightly packed baby spinach 

1/2 cup artichokes hearts, chopped, excess water squeezed out

3 tablespoons pine nuts  

3 large cloves garlic 

¼ cup good quality olive oil   

1/4 teaspoon salt

Bechamel 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon, plus a pinch dried marjoram

3 cups room temp half & half

Salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, white balsamic  vinegar

1/4 teaspoon fresh, lemon zest

Sautéed Onions/artichokes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, cubed 

1 cup halved, baby artichoke hearts.  Squeeze out excess water.  

1 tablespoon capers

Pan Fried Chicken

2 large chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise-pounded flat ¼ inch thickness 

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fresh, cracked pepper

All purpose flour for dredging 

2 eggs whisked with 2 teaspoons water

Salt

Parchment paper

Olive oil

5 large garlic cloves sliced into 1/4's

 

Directions

Artichoke Basil Paste

Add all ingredients, except the olive oil to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Scrape down the sides and drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing.  

Bechamel 

Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauce pan.  Whisk in the flour and marjoram, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the half & half, season with salt (to taste) and add the white pepper. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in the artichoke basil paste.  

Let cool some, then pour into a blender.   Add the white balsamic vinegar and the lemon zest and Purée starting on low speed, then medium, then high until sauce is very creamy. Adjust salt & pepper if needed.  

Sautéed Onions/artichokes

Heat the olive oil in a 11 inch skillet. Add the onions and cook until edges start to brown.  Add the artichokes and capers, season lightly with salt and cook until artichokes start to take on some color.  Add the artichoke sauce, stir and remove from heat.  

 

Pan Fried Chicken

Pulse the pine nuts in a small food processor until crumbs form, or place in a zip-lock back and pound with a rolling pin.  Add the pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, oregano and pepper to a bowl and mix well.  

Place the cutlets on a sheet of parchment paper and season both sides with salt.  Dredge cutlets in the flour, shaking off excess, dip in the egg, shaking off excess and place back on the parchment paper.  Sprinkle the tops with the pine nut, Parmesan mixture, then turn over and sprinkle the opposite sides. "Don't dredge the chicken into the mixture or it will become too compacted."  

Heat an 11 to 12 inch non stick frying pan over medium-high temperature and fill with 1/4 inch of olive oil.  Add the garlic and then the chicken cutlets, being sure not to overcrowd. Cook in 2 batches if needed.  Cook each cutlet 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove the garlic slices as they brown and set aside.  Place cooked chicken cutlets on a plate lined with paper towel.  

Reheat the sauce and add enough pasta for four servings.  The pasta should have puddles of sauce around it.  Finish with the fried garlic slices, fresh shaved Parmesan, chopped Italian parsley and lemon wedges for squeezing.