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Hemp Heart & Panko Crusted Chicken Scallopini smothered in an Heirloom Tomato Sauce, with Mozzarella & Parmigiano Reggiano, served on Whole Wheat Linguine tossed in Olive Oil, Fresh Basil & Fried Garlic
Total: 45 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Allergens: dairy, eggs, tree nuts, wheat
This updated version of an American-Italian favorite is a perfect family meal for a weekend dinner. My spin on this classic utilizes a cheaper but more flavorful cut in the chicken, it’s thighs. Chicken thighs are a great source of protein and healthy fat and is also a lot more fail proof than its commonly used counterpart. The breast can dry up easily while overcooking a chicken thigh can be difficult, even for beginner home cooks!
The chicken parmesan 2.0 packs an ultimate crunch factor from mixing whole wheat panko with the traditional Italian bread crumbs, while adding extra fiber. Hemp hearts add a delicious nutty flavor as well as extra protein, minerals and essential fatty acids. Save the trip to your local Italian eatery and try this easy to follow recipe instead, you won’t be disappointed!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken free-range chicken thighs
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of all-purpose OR whole wheat flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup of whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup of whole wheat Italian bread crumbs
- ¼ cup of hemp hearts
- ¼ cup of shredded parmigiano reggiano OR parmesan
- ¼ cup of olive oil for pan frying
- ½ medium yellow onions, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon of hemp oil
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, blended
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- ¼ cup of vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of honey
- A pinch of chili flakes
- 6 oz of whole wheat linguine OR spaghetti
- ½ tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ tablespoon of hemp oil
- 8 garlic cloves, minces
- 6 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup of pasta water
- 2 oz of shredded mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
- 12 oz cooked red sauce
- Hemp hearts and basil for garnish
1.) Preheat an oven to 350F and begin by pounding out the chicken thighs with a mallet one at a time in between a ziploc bag with the sides sliced open for easier access. You can also use a plastic bag, saran wrap or parchment paper. Season with salt and set aside on your countertop.
2.) In a bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, Italian bread crumbs, hemp hearts and parmesan for your breading.
3.) Set up your dredging station. You’ll need 3 trays or lipped plates (to prevent spillage) in total. 1.) is the flour, 2.) is the beaten eggs and 3.) is the bread crumb mixture.
4.) Put gloves on and start by dredging one chicken thigh at a time. Using both hands, pick up the chicken (wet hand) with one hand, place it in the flour and cover all crevices using your opposite hand (dry), then coat it in the beaten egg whites using your (wet) hand, then finally evenly coat with the breading using your (dry) opposite hand. Repeat this process for the other 3 thighs.
5.) Simultaneously work on the sauce and pasta to consolidate your steps, saving time. In a large pot, boil the pasta per instructions on the bag in very salty water and reserve ¼ cup of the pasta liquid. Drain in a colander or strainer but DO NOT rinse!
6.) In a medium pot, work on the sauce by cooking the onions and garlic in the hemp oil for 2 minutes on medium low heat. Pureé the tomatoes in a small food processor, combine them with the onions and garlic, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and reduce the sauce for 15 minutes.
7.) Heat a large pan with olive oil to medium. Working with two at a time to prevent uneven cooking, sear each breaded chicken thigh for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan onto a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with the other two thighs. Bake the chickens in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165F when inserted. Remove from the oven.
8.) For the linguine, fry the garlic in the hemp and olive oil in a large pan for 1 minute. Add the cooked linguine, basil and the reserved pasta water and cook on high until the liquid is reduced.
9.) Assemble the chicken parmesans by pouring 3 oz of sauce and topping it with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Set the oven to a low broil, return the dressed chickens inside and melt the cheese. Gather four plates, divide the linguine among them, place a chicken on top and garnish with basil, an extra sprinkle of hemp hearts and some of the leftover sauce on the plate. Enjoy!
- Using a ziploc bag for pounding is completely up to you. I added this step for two reasons. One, the bag acts as protection so that you prevent the chicken meat from tearing; and two, the raw chicken juices don’t splatter everywhere, preventing salmonella from spreading easily. Make sure you clean the surface you’re using after with soap and hot water. Pounding the chicken thighs also tenderizes the meat and cuts the cooking time by half.
- Rinsing the pasta under running water takes out all the valuable starches out of it that is necessary for soaking up all that lovely garlic oil sauce, so always stop yourself from doing this in any recipe!
- Every oven is different so make sure you keep an eye when you are broiling your chickens, they can burn pretty easily. Use the middle or bottom racks of the oven if your broil option is too intense.
- Can I use cheese alternatives to make this dairy-free? Yes! There is a wide variety of vegan parmesan and mozzarella cheeses that are delicious with this recipe. Take note that they do not melt the same. To ensure an ooey gooey cheese pull, microwaving the dressed chicken parmesans before plating will achieve this result.
- Can I make this gluten-free? Of course. Substitute rice flour/gluten-free flour/oat flour in place of the wheat flour, replace the breadcrumbs with a gluten-free version, and sub the whole wheat linguine for a lentil or chickpea based noodle for an extra protein boost!
- Can I skip making the sauce and buy it instead? If you are short on time, this is a good option.
- What can I use if I don’t have a kitchen mallet? A rolling pin works just as efficiently.
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