Sometimes you need something quick, tasty and a little bit special on a Monday evening. This recipe fits the bill perfectly. Using ingredients that most people have in their cupboard (Hands up who DOESN’T have a bit of parmesan cheese in their fridge??).
Named after the areas where it is produced, the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna (only the area to the west of the river Reno), Modena (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantua (in Lombardy, but only the area to the south of river Po), Italy. Most importantly, under Italian law, only cheese produced in these provinces may be labelled “Parmigiano-Reggiano”, and European law classifies the name, as well as the translation “Parmesan”, as a protected designation of origin. A little like the blaa in Waterford, and the Bramley apple in Armagh. Made from unpasteurised cow’s milk, the best cheese is from wheels laid down for 2 years or longer. Authentic Italian parmesan has ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ stamped on the rind.
The King of Cheese is only supposed to be made up of three simple ingredients, milk, salt and rennet. So maybe check the ingredients listing on the packet next time you buy.
50g grated parmesan
4 chicken breasts 2 egg whites
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
Vegetable oil, for greasing
Place the egg whites in a bowl, and loosen them up with a fork. Mix the breadcrumbs, herbs and cheese together in another bowl. Pre heat the oven to 1800C. Grease the bottom of an oven proof dish that will snugly fit the 4 crumbed breasts. Dip each breast first in the egg white, shake it off then roll firmly in the crumb/cheese mixture.
Place on the oven proof dish and then when all breasts are coated, place in the oven for 40 minutes.
Serve hot with some fresh salad.