Oven-Fried Basil Parmesan Chicken

Oven-Fried Basil Parmesan Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 basil sprigs
4 slices fresh mozzarella
4 slices cooked pancetta or bacon
2 egg whites
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges

Crumb Mixture:

1 cup fine semolina or Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set rack on sheet pan and spray it with olive oil spray.

Cut through thick side of each chicken breast to create a pocket. Into each pocket press two basil sprigs, a slice of mozzarella and a slice of pancetta or bacon (folded in half to fit if necessary).

In medium bowl, stir together crumb mixture.

In another bowl, lightly beat egg whites. Add garlic, salt and pepper.

Dip stuffed chicken breasts into egg white mixture; then press into crumb mixture, coating thoroughly. (At this point, the breasts may be placed on a cookie tray and frozen until almost solid; wrap in aluminum foil to store.)

Set chicken on rack; bake for 25 minutes until crumbs are golden brown and chicken is cooked all the way through.

Serve immediately, accompanied with fresh lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings