Panko crusted chicken with spinach salad and homemade vinaigrette.
Chicken,  Dinner,  Food

Panko-Crusted Chicken With Spinach Salad and Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette

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Mazola® Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol free cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. It has a variety of uses include baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com

Serve this panko-crusted chicken with a simple spinach salad and homemade vinaigrette any night of the week!

Panko crusted chicken with spinach salad and homemade vinaigrette pictured with Mazola Corn Oil.

September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month and a good time to consider ways to make adjustments and substitutions in recipes that can help reduce saturated fats and cholesterol in your meals.

As we near the first of September, I decided to take that challenge and swap out three less healthy ingredients for healthier ones with dinner the other night.

The first swap was a no-brainer. Instead of iceberg or another variety of lettuce, I chose to make a spinach salad instead. Dark, leafy greens for the win!

The second swap was easy, too. I lightened up the oil by using a non-stick skillet and three tablespoons of Mazola Corn Oil, instead of … well … a lot more. The non-stick skillet (or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet) was key, because it meant I didn’t need to use extra grease to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan.

The third swap was making my own homemade lemon vinaigrette instead of using a bottled dressing. Homemade dressing is really simple to make and only takes a few ingredients—in this case, fresh lemon, balsamic vinegar, Mazola Corn Oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer emphasize a “low-fat” diet, but rather choosing quality, “good” fats. This includes replacing saturated fats that are known to contribute to heart disease with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, like those in Mazola Corn Oil. And, according to the USDA, corn oil has more than five times the amount of polyunsaturated fats compared to olive oil.

Panko crusted chicken with spinach salad and homemade vinaigrette pictured with Mazola Corn Oil.

To make the panko-crusted chicken, I patted three chicken breasts dry with paper towels and seasoned both sides with salt and pepper.

Three raw chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper.

Drying the chicken before the dredging process helps the layers stick better.

Chicken getting ready to be dredged in flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs.

Then, each chicken breast got lightly dusted in all-purpose flour on both sides, followed by a quick dip in beaten egg and water.

Chicken breast dredged in flour and ready to be dipped in egg.

Lastly, the chicken hit the panko breadcrumbs for a nice and even coating on both sides.

Panko crusted chicken breasts ready to be seared in a skillet.

Then they rested for a few minutes while I got the skillet ready.

Panko crusted chicken ready to be seared.

I put three tablespoons of Mazola Corn Oil to warm in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. 

Mazola Corn Oil warming in a skillet on the stove.

Mazola Corn Oil has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils at 450°F and performs well in a variety of cooking applications. All cooking oils have a smoke point that, once exceeded, not only negatively affect the food’s flavor but also its nutritional value.

Once the oil was hot, I seared the panko crusted chicken on both sides for four minutes each.

Panko crusted chicken searing in a skillet.

You’re looking for a nice deep golden brown color on both sides!

Panko crusted chicken seared on both sides in a skillet.

While the chicken cooked, I took a few minutes to make a really fast homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing to go with my spinach salad—full of cucumber, slivered almonds and goat cheese.

Fresh lemon, balsamic vinegar and Mazola Corn Oil seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I like to make my homemade dressing right in an eight-ounce mason jar—it’s much easier (and less messy) to screw the lid on and shake it like crazy for thirty seconds than it is to whisk a dressing in a bowl. Plus, if you have any leftover dressing, you can just keep it right in the same mason jar in the fridge!

Mazola Corn Oil in a small mason jar with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.

Two tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette, one tablespoon of Mazola Corn Oil, the juice and zest from half a lemon and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and garlic powder is all this dressing needs.

After some shaking … voilà!

Homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette.

Unlike store-bought dressing, you’ll need to shake this one each time before you use it. As it sits, the layers start to separate, but the flavor stays amazing—a mix of tart and savory!

The perfect accompaniment to panko crusted chicken.

The steps for making panko crusted chicken with homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Panko crusted chicken with spinach salad and homemade vinaigrette.

Panko Crusted Chicken With Spinach Salad and Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Serve this panko-crusted chicken with a simple spinach salad and homemade vinaigrette any night of the week!

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 3 chicken breasts (4-6 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon Mazola Corn Oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested

For the salad:

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Homemade lemon vinaigrette

Instructions

For the chicken:

  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Use a kitchen mallet to pound them down to a half-inch thick.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper to dust each side of the chicken breasts evenly.
  3. Place the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Whisk the water and eggs together in a bowl.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper to the flour and mix it together with a fork.
  5. Warm a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons of oil.
  6. Lightly coat a chicken breast in flour, dip it to coat in the egg mixture, then coat it in panko bread crumbs. Set it aside on a plate and repeat with the other chicken breasts.
  7. Once the skillet is hot, sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes per side, or until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 175°F.
  8. Remove them to a paper towel-covered plate to rest while you make the dressing and build the salad.

For the dressing:

  1. Add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a mason jar.
  2. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

For the salad:

  1. Add the cucumber, almonds and goat cheese to the spinach.
  2. Drizzle with the homemade lemon vinaigrette.

Notes

Store leftover dressing in the fridge.

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Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) Always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect mojito and time to finish my novel!

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