Chef Malika Ameen's Crispy Parmesan Chicken


By Malika Ameen

Modern Spice Pantry - Unique Twists on Everyday Food with Chef Malika Ameen

This is a sophisticated and interesting version of every kid's favorite breaded chicken that both kids and parents will love. Everyday breadcrumbs are replaced with grated Parmesan cheese which results in a lacey coating with crisp texture and nutty flavor. It takes minutes to prepare and requires only a small handful of ingredients, most of which are pantry staples. Serve it as a simple weeknight dinner with your favorite side.


  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Sweet or smoked paprika, or any dried herb
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2  Large egg whites
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 (4-5oz.) Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a shallow dish combine cheese, salt and ½ cup of flour and whisk together
  • In another shallow bowl whisk egg whites until foamy
  • Coat a large rimmed baking sheet generously with olive oil about 1/8 inch thick
  • Place remaining flour in a shallow bowl and add pepper, paprika, and lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  • Place chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag and with a meat cleaver pound to ½ inch thickness.
  • Lightly season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge the flat, smooth side of the chicken in the spiced flour, shake off the excess, then dredge in the egg white and lastly press into the Parmesan mixture.
  • Put the chicken, Parmesan side down, in the pan, being sure to keep space between each piece.
  • Bake until the crust is golden (about 11-13 minutes).
  • Remove from the oven and carefully flip the breasts in the pan. Let stand for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
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