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Low-carb fried chicken breast fillets with Pecorino Romano cheese crust and sauteed mushrooms

Michael's picture

Here's a quick and easy meal I threw together tonight. We had two chicken breasts and a package of sliced mushrooms in the fridge, waiting to be prepared... but we didn't know what to make.

Teri suggested that I make some kind of grilled herbed chicken dish with jack or mozzarella cheese and sauteed mushrooms. That got me thinking... I remembered that I had just purchased a big wedge of Pecorino Romano cheese... so this is what I came up with.

This recipe makes nice, crispy fried chicken breasts, with a crunchy Romano cheese crust - it's reminiscent of old-fashioned fried chicken, because the cheese has a nice crispy crunch to it, and Romano cheese is fairly salty so it brings out the natural flavor of the chicken breast fillets. Best of all, the finished dish is very low-carb. Even if you decide to add whipping cream or milk to the egg, very little of it ends up on the finished dish, so I'd say it doesn't add much in the way of carbs. The Romano cheese is low in carbs, too. Everything else is zero-carb if I'm not mistaken.

Total prep time was about 30 minutes.

Note: We usually fillet our chicken breast halves (so each chicken breast half ends up as two thin fillets) because it shortens the cooking time -- a full chicken breast half is very thick and will take too long to cook thoroughly.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, filleted (so you have four breast fillets)
  • 1 Lb. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 or 2 eggs, beaten (see next item, [cream or milk], for details)
  • (optional) splash of whipping cream or whole-fat milk
    (don't worry, very little will end up being eaten, it's just to help hold the grated cheese on the chicken). If you decide not to use the cream or milk, beat a second egg instead.
  • 1 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules or powder
  • 1/4 tsp. finely-chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. (scant) cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. (scant) paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. (scant) turmeric or yellow curry powder
  • fresh-ground black pepper
  • fat or oil for frying
    We use clarified bacon grease with a pat of butter thrown in for flavor, but you can use olive oil or any high smoke-point oil that you prefer.

Preparation

  • Over medium-high heat, heat a few tbs. of oil and a bit of butter in a large non-stick skillet. When oil is heated, add sliced mushrooms and saute until tender and golden brown. Move to bowl and set aside.
  • Combine beaten egg and cream (or milk) in a medium flat bowl.
  • Add garlic, rosemary, cumin, paprika, turmeric (or yellow curry powder), and black pepper to the beaten egg mixture and whisk gently to mix thoroughly.
  • Spread grated Romano cheese evenly onto a flat plate.
  • Clean and dry the non-stick skillet you used for the mushrooms, then heat over medium-high heat, and add a few tablespoons bacon grease or oil, and a pat of butter.
  • Working quickly (you don't want the oil to burn...), dredge each chicken fillet through egg mixture, then coat each side with the Romano cheese and place the chicken fillets in the large skillet.
  • Cook over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes (or until the cheese is golden brown and very crisp) on one side, then turn to cook the other side.
    Reduce heat as necessary to prevent burning. You want the cheese to turn a dark golden brown, but avoid burning the cheese. You may find it easier to turn the fillets several times to get the crispness you want, and cook the meat thoroughly.
    We usually cover the skillet with a glass lid during cooking, to retain most of the heat and promote even and thorough cooking without burning the cheese coating.
  • After turning and cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, check the breasts by touching the thickest parts with a fork. They should be done when they are firm to the touch in the thickest part. Obviously you want to cook them fully, but not overcook them. Trust me, chicken breasts are much better when they're not overcooked!
  • As each breast fillet is cooked through, remove to a serving plate.

Serving

  • Place one or two fillets on a plate (depending on appetite) and optionally cover with the sauteed mushrooms.
  • Dig in!

Update:Teri says the cold leftover chicken can be sliced and added to a Caesar salad (along with the mushrooms). Yummy!

Photo: 
Dredging chicken fillets in egg batter mixture
Dredging chicken fillets in grated Romano cheese
Adding chicken fillets to skillet
Low-carb fried chicken breast fillets with pecorino romano cheese crust
Chicken breast fillets with pecorino romano cheese crust ready to be served
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About Michael

Michael's picture

About me

I'm Mike. I'm LowCarbForLife's (Teri's) hubby. I manage the LowCarbCompatible™ web site, among many other things. I don't follow a strict diet but I do follow LowCarbForLife's way of eating most of the time, since we eat together (and I cook most of the time).

My web site
http://lowcarbcompatible.com

Current Diet Type
Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program (CALP)

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