I recently tried to make a kind of deconstructed chicken parm with pesto or a backward chicken parm. It didn’t go exactly as I had planned, and when I make it in the future I will definitely adapt it. I like the flavors enough to definitely keep perfecting a good way to blend the flavors for a better outcome.
1 chicken breast per person
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup prepared pesto
salt and pepper to taste
3 plum tomatoes
6 slices mozzarella cheese
note: the 1 cup portions were for 2 servings, adjust accordingly.
Set out 3 bowls; place flour and a pinch of salt and pepper in one, pesto in the second and panko breadcrumbs in the third. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour and then coat with pesto. You really need to get in there with your hands and rub the pesto all over. Then dip into the bread crumbs. You also need to really press the breadcrumbs in.
Warm oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet and brown. Flip the chicken after 5-7 minutes and cook on the other side. Cover the pan to make sure the chicken cooks through.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Salt and pepper the tomatoes and place in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes. This gets them just soft. Remove them from the oven and place the slices of cheese. Place under the broiler for just a couple of minutes to brown and bubble the cheese.
Once the chicken is done, place the tomatoes on top or on the side. We added more pesto on the top of the chicken to give more flavor. The pesto flavor did really cook out. Which is why I’ve concluded that that step isn’t really worth it. In the future I will probably just season the chicken with salt and pepper and bake it and then top it with the pesto. I will let you know how that turns out when I try that! I served this with pasta with pesto sauce.