Lemon Chicken Scaloppine in Pine Nut Parmesan Crust

I'm a firm believer in green smoothies and getting in plenty of exercise. 

I'm also a firm believer in the occasional juicy bacon-loaded cheeseburger.

Maybe I'm just a little selfish, but I believe we can have both. 

The only "diet" I've ever really been on is:

striving for balance. 

I make some of the sugariest/sweetest desserts you've dared let cross your tongue (my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe has 3 sticks of butter in them - for crying out loud). But I've also made sure to prepare and eat equally as straight-up-healthy recipes as well. Why? Because that's how we eat in our house! 

We eat as healthy as we can throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening, (and get in our exercise every day except Sunday). But if I make a sinfully sweet dessert - we don't shun it like the plague! We enjoy it. We soak in every sugary morsel (okay, not EVERY morsel. we usually give half of it away). We don't treat it like junk food, or hate ourselves for eating it. Why? We know we don't eat it all the time, so the treat is actually a "treat" for us! That's the fun in our ever-striving-lifestyle of balance on our plates. Sometimes we're not perfect (the cheeseburger happened last night), but we're always paying attention to what we eat, getting in a few slices of fruit with every meal, and making sure we eat enough greens throughout the day. This has made all the difference. As always, do what works for you, but this is what has worked for us :) 

P.S. Thanks, Bonnie, for getting me addicted to Almond Milk. That stuff is like crack. 

- - - 

When I served this dish to Ryan, he got really excited. He thought it was fish. Haaah. Right. The lemon slices sure led him to believe I had actually served him something I can't stand to look at, smell, or taste. But nonetheless, I had served him a new version of my beloved breaded chicken. Adding in pine nuts, lemon zest, and basil TRANSFORMS your typical (but still good) chicken. It has a pesto-like taste to it, and brightened the chicken right up with the lemon. I served this over a bed of garlic parmesan couscous, and we had some veggies on the side. It was a huge success, and has totally changed the way I make my own version of "fried" chicken. 


Lemon Chicken Scaloppine in Pine Nut Parmesan Crust
makes 4 servings

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (so 4 pieces total)
1 C all-purpose flour
2 t + 1/2 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C panko bread crumbs
2 lemons, 1 zested, 1 sliced
1/2 C finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C pine nuts, minced (food processor helps here)
2 T minced basil
2 T butter

1. Using a rolling pin, pound raw chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper until they are 1/4 thick. Set aside.
2. Prepare 3 plates:
Plate #1: flour, 1 t salt, pepper.
Plate #2: eggs with a small splash of water.
Plate #3: panko bread crumbs, zest from 1 lemon (2 teaspoons), 1 t salt, parm, cheese, pine nuts, and basil.
3. To a large skillet over medium high heat, heat EVOO and butter until butter is melted.
4. Sprinkle prepared chicken breasts with 1/2 t salt. **Using one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry ingredients** working with one chicken breast at a time, coat both sides with flour mixture, then egg mixture (allowing excess egg to drop off chicken before next step), then bread crumb mixture. Press in as much of that lovely crumbly goodness as possible. Place coated chicken in the pan. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts (depending on how much room you have in your pan). Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked all the way through. Crust should be golden. Add more butter or oil to skillet as needed. Remove from heat and let rest for a minute before serving. Squeeze a lemon wedge per chicken breast half. Serve over a bed of garlic couscous, a pile of fresh steamed veggies, or your favorite creamy pasta.

recipe adapted from: Oprah Magazine Cookbook

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