Potato-Chip Crusted Chicken with Arugula Pesto
You like chicken parm, right? (Silly question.) Well, this potato-chip crusted chicken with arugula pesto, from Charlotte Druckman’s new cookbook, Kitchen Remix: 75 Recipes for Making the Most of Your Ingredients, is like chicken parm but so much better.
“Something we never admit but all know is true: Even bad chicken parmigiana is good,” Druckman writes. “We totally eat—and love—it cold, same as pizza. Imagine what properly melty, mozzarella-blanketed chicken parmigiana could be under the best circumstances—coated with potato chips, smeared with a bright electric-green sauce—and you should arrive at this tour de force.”
There are so many ways to enjoy it: “Try it in sub form on a long, thick roll, slapped with extra pesto, topped with arugula leaves and hit with a squeeze of lemon,” Druckman suggests. Or sandwich it inside a homemade pretzel bun. Or you can eat the chicken sans cheese or pesto to take advantage of that potato-chip crunch.
Reprinted with permission from Kitchen Remix by Charlotte Druckman, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
1½ cups packed fresh arugula
½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (scant ¾ cup)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup whole milk
1½ cups finely crushed kettle-style potato chips
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Eight ¼-inch-thick slices fresh unsalted mozzarella
1. Make the Pesto: In a food processor, pulse together the arugula, parsley, garlic, hazelnuts, Parmesan and salt to form a paste, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Slowly stream in the olive oil as you continue pulsing to form a smooth, bright sauce. Taste and season with salt as needed.
2. Make the Chicken: Place a cooling rack on a parchment-lined baking sheet and coat the rack with nonstick spray. Position one oven rack so that the chicken will be 2 to 3 inches away from the broiler, and one in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Spread ¼ cup flour on a large plate and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the milk to a medium bowl and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Fill a separate medium bowl with the potato-chip crumbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and the cayenne, and stir to combine.
4. Season each chicken breast on both sides with a pinch each of salt and pepper. One at a time, dip each breast into the seasoned flour to coat, shaking off any excess, then dunk into the milk, letting any excess drip off, and then roll through the potato-chip mixture, pressing to coat. Place on the prepared baking rack. Pat any remaining potato-chip coating on top of the chicken breasts.
5. Bake the chicken breasts on the middle rack until the crusts are golden, they’re just cooked through and their juices run clear, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn on the broiler.
6. Cover each chicken breast with 2 slices of mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven on the top rack, and broil until the cheese is bubbling and just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large serving platter and let rest for about 5 minutes. Gently smear a few spoonfuls of the pesto onto each chicken breast and serve.