This Chicken Romano recipe is one I cherish. I am obsessed with perfectly cooked and moist chicken. When done right, a chicken breast should be so moist that you can cut it with a fork. Combine with simple and wonderful flavors like lemon, butter, garlic and Romano cheese for heaven on a plate. Add some crusty bread and a good white wine for a dinner that you would be proud to serve to family and friends.
So what is the secret? Three things actually; Brine the chicken, cook in the oven until just barely reaches 165 degrees, and lots of butter!
Brining is much easier than you think. All you need is Kosher Salt, sugar, and water. Submerge the chicken breasts in the brine solution and let sit covered in a fridge for at least 4 to 6 hours. Start it in the morning before you got to work. Cook it when you get home and have an amazing and easy dinner in 45 minutes.
The flavors are simple. Lots of garlic, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine and Italian parsley.
My favorite zesting tool is a microplane with wide grates. I zest the outer skin, and juice the same lemon.
When the chicken is ready, remove it from the brine and rinse well. The next step is to make a quick 5-minute butter, garlic, wine, lemon sauce in a sauce pan on the stove top. Pour the lemon butter sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.
For this dish, I choose to leave the breasts whole. I wanted the thick breast meat. An alternate is to slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. While the chicken portion will be thinner, it will go farther for more people. Some people prefer a thinner cut. This is your choice. Next is the breading. Instead of the classic egg and breadcrumb coating, I used, MELTED BUTTER (OMG!) and breadcrumbs with lots of freshly grated Romano and Parmesan cheese. I love my stainless steel, interlocking breading pans. Very handy and easy to clean.
Dip the chicken breast in the melted butter butter, and then coat in the breadcrumb cheese mixture.As the butter cools from the cold chicken it will still be easy to coat in butter. Pat the breadcrumb/cheese mixture onto the chicken. Place the breaded chicken breast in the baking pan with the lemon butter sauce. Keep them in a single layer so the tops can get crispy.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until the chicken reaches 155 degrees on a digital meat thermometer. The chicken will keep cooking in the hot butter after you take it out of then oven to reach the recommended 165 degrees. Do not overcook the chicken. This is one key to moist chicken. I highly recommend you use a digital thermometer to be sure.
Let the chicken sit for ten minutes. Plate the chicken with some sauce from the bottom of the pan. Serve this with a simple vegetable or salad, some crusty bread and white wine.
Chicken Romano with Lemon Butter Sauce
- ½ cup Kosher salt
- ½ cut sugar
- 4 cups very hot tap water
- 6 10 ounce average boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ⁄2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 cup romano cheese freshly grated
- 1 ½ tablespoons flour
- ½ cup 1 stick butter, melted
- Lemon Butter Sauce
- 4 tablespoons ½ stick butter
- 6 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 2 lemons one zested and juiced, one sliced
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- Prepare the brine by combining hot water, salt and sugar. Stir until fully dissolved. Let cool. Can add ice cubes to water to speed down cooling process.
- Place chicken breasts in a large glass bowl or large ziplock bag. Pour brine solution over chicken. Cover with saran wrap or seal the bag. Place in fridge for 4-6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove chicken breasts from brine and rinse until cool water. Pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and romano cheeses and flour in breading pan or shallow bowl; set aside. Place melted butter in another breading pan or shallow bowl.
- To make the sauce: In a small saucepan on the stovetop, melt ½ stick butter until bubbly. Do not let brown. Add chopped garlic and let cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the wine, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir and continue simmering for 3-5 minutes. Pour hot butter lemon mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9 enameled or glass baking pan.
- To bread the chicken: coat one chicken breast at a time into the melted butter and then place the breast into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat evenly. Pat the mixture onto the chicken. Place chicken in baking pan on top of the butter/lemon sauce. Continue breading the chicken the chicken until all are nestled in a single layer in the pan. Place an extra breadcrumb/cheese topping on top of each breast. Place lemon slices among the chicken pieces.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear or a digital meat thermometer reads 155 degrees. The chicken will continue cooking in the hot butter sauce to reach 165 degrees. Do not overcook the chicken.
- Remove pan from oven and let sit for ten minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and more lemon slices.