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Parmesan Crusted Chicken w/Dark Chocolate Mango Cream Sauce

This is a crowd pleaser.  What I love most about this recipe is the versatility of it.  I’ve used this without a sauce; with my chocolate mango salsa stuffed in the middle of the breast; and countless other recipes.  But this particular recipe I’m sharing with you today.  You know me, last minute, pull a recipe out of my hat (which means I get to create, and that’s why I do what I do!). 

It’s a funny thing, creating a recipe.  I think, I ponder, I wonder, I research, I read, or I do none of those things and just act!  I did a little thinking and acting on this one!  Goodness knows I have fun when I’m creating a new dish.  But it’s not just the main course I have fun with when I’m putting together the “special feature” for the restaurant; I enjoy being creative with the sides that go with the special feature; determining what flavors will go well with the other flavors in each dish; balancing out each flavor so one does not overwhelm the other.  I’m a taste nut, in that if it doesn’t wow me with flavor then it’s not worthy of my plate, and if it’s not worthy of my plate it certainly can’t show up on your plate.

I made the bread crumbs in this recipe with gluten free bread so my gluten free customers as well as myself could enjoy this.  I had not made this since before I became gluten free, and even though I used the gluten free bread, I could not tell a difference…in fact, I think it was better, only because gluten free bread is usually, naturally, drier than gluten bread.  So you choose which to use; either way it will be delicious!

I used real parmesan cheese, as in buy the wedge at $13 or 14 per lb and grate it yourself…the quality makes all the difference in any dish.  Don’t buy the ‘already’ grated parmesan in a plastic container, or heaven forbid, the parmesan powder!  If you do, don’t tell me about it! 

If you are serving a small family of 4 or 5, you may want to cut this recipe in half; or make the entire recipe and eat the leftovers for lunch all week!  I served this in the restaurant with Honey Succotash Salad and Roasted Garlic Potatoes (both future posts as time permits). 

PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN w/DARK CHOCOLATE MANGO CREAM SAUCE (Gluten Free)

To make fresh bread crumbs, put bread in a food processor or chopper.  Grind until coarse.

3 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tblsp granulated garlic

¼ grape seed oil

1 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

6 boneless, skinless, thin (pound if needed) chicken breasts (6 ozs each, trimmed and ¼ inch thick)

Orange slice twists for serving

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to baking dish.  Dip chicken in oil then lay in plate and sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the chicken, doing both sides, pressing lightly to adhere. 

Bake until crumbs are golden brown and instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees; approximately 30 minutes.  Serve with orange slice twists.

MANGO CREAM SAUCE

2 cups heavy cream

2 jars Donya Marie’s Dark Chocolate Mango Salsa

Heat Cream to boil and reduce by simmering ½ hour.  Add salsa once cream is reduced.

Serve with cream sauce over chicken and put an orange slice to the side of chicken for garnish.

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