Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oven-Baked Chicken Romano

As the name implies, Romano cheese has a starring role in this flavorful and healthier version of Chicken Romano.   Instead of being dredged in batter and fried or served with a fat-laden (although delicious) cream sauce, this oven-baked version offers plenty of flavor without the extra calories.

For over two thousand years, this hard, Italian cheese has been made in Rome, its namesake city, by a process known as rummaging the curd.  The curds of the cheese are drained well, then pierced before being salted and brined.  There are several types of Romano cheese, each made with a different milk and therefore producing slightly different flavors. 

The most authentic variety is Pecorino Romano and boasts a sharp, tangy and salty flavor.  To carry the title of Pecorino Romano, the cheese must be made under stringent Italian government guidelines.  To be precise, the cheese must be round, meet minimum weight requirements, be made from the milk of specific sheep, in a specific area of Italy and only manufactured between the months of October and July.  When Romano cheese is made from goat's milk it is called Caprino Romano and has a distinctly sharp flavor.  When it's made from cow's milk it has a milder flavor, which suits most American palates, and is called Vaccino Romano. 
All three varieties must be aged for a minimum of five months and are especially good for grating over dishes such as pasta, salads, breads and soups.
 Oven-Baked Chicken Romano

1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese or 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (dry packed, or very well drained if packed in oil)
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup skim milk
8 chicken breast tenderloins or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 425.  In a shallow dish, or pie plate, combine bread crumbs, cheese, tomatoes, parsley, basil and garlic powder.  Pour milk into a second shallow dish.  Dip chicken pieces into milk, and then roll in the crumb mixture.  Place coated pieces in an ungreased 13 x 9 baking dish.  Bake in the 425 oven for about 15-20 min or until poultry is tender and no longer pink.  Serve with your favorite steamed vegetable or a small side of pasta.


  1. Love that recipe and all your info that you shared. Thinking about you today.
    Take care,

  2. Thanks, Rita! I pick mom up from the airport in a few hours & tomorrow is the surgery. I'm still feeling good about it. We'll see how I feel in the morning with no food or cigs for 10 hours! LOL
    I'll email you in a few days and let you know how it went. :)


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