June 14, 2012

Pecorino-Crusted Chicken with Marinated Mushroom Salad

chicken 2
Bloggers and blog readers alike, have you ever had one (or many) of those “facepalm” moments? Those times when you say or do or think something and later want to smack your palm against your forehead for your carelessness, thoughtlessness, or general delirium? I most definitely had one of those today, involving this exact blog post!

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I don’t know why I sound excited that I did something foolish, but I suppose that’s a constructive way to view it. Basically, I spent the better part of an hour composing this long-winded blog post all about taking chances in life and opening yourself up it possibilities. As much as that sounds like an uplifting concept, it ended up being rawther boring. What really pushed the whole idea over into crazytown was the fact that I took this whole theme of embracing life’s surprises and compared it to mayonnaise.

Seriously, mayonnaise.

This is why I can’t just write something out and post it immediately. Inevitably, it leads to major “facepalming.”

side view 
To save you the work of reading that previous draft, I’ll give you the basic summary of the whole mayonnaise connection. In short, it was really cool to try this chicken recipe—which calls for spreading the chicken with mayonnaise before sprinkling with Pecorino—because it was unexpected. I was a little hesitant about the whole adding-mayonnaise-to-beautiful-recipes thing, but it ended up creating some of the most juicy, delicious chicken I have ever tasted. Paired with a delicate, zesty mushroom salad, and the whole thing was an absolute dream.

My own mayonnaise adventures aside, I’m curious about you guys. Has there ever been a certain dish or ingredient that pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised you? Tell me about in the comments!

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Pecorino-Crusted Chicken with Marinated Mushroom Salad
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit
Printable Recipe

1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet or pan with nonstick aluminum foil. Set aside.
Toss the mushrooms, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand, tossing often, at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, until the mushrooms soften.
Trim the chicken of excess fat and season with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet and spread 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each chicken breast, then sprinkling evenly with cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is browned.
Serve warm with marinated mushroom salad.
Note: The original recipe called for placing the chicken on a wire rack on a baking sheet and baking at 500 degrees for 5 minutes, then broiling for 5 minutes. Feel free to follow this method instead, I just found the idea of a 500 degree oven a little intimidating.


  1. A group of us once followed a blog just to be bitchy about it to each other. You know the kind that uses loads of premade sauces and called it homemade?
    One day sdhe posted a corn bread recipe which sounded so ridiculous I had to try it. I have made that bread (my husband calls it cake bread) a million times with variations here and there since then.

    1. Yum! I love cornbread! Just goes to show you you can't judge a book by its cover.

  2. Yup! I was sure my husband was wasting good feta and pine nuts when he decided to make one certain salad recipe, even going to the lengths to make a home made lemon viniagrette. It is one that I ended up loving so much that I now ask him only to make half-recipes so I don't make myself sick on it. Main ingredient? Watermelon!

  3. Looked so good I got up and made it. Delish! and asparagus mixed in great with the mushroom salad.

    1. Oh thats sounds great Gail, will you share the recipe?

  4. This is a stunning dish! Absolutely one that I MUST try! Thanks for sharing (and don't worry, we all have those moments).


  5. Sorry I am posting so late.
    This looks fabulous!
    Yes, I know what you mean. I am, of course, drawing a blank now. But there was a recent recipe I made where I was really thrown off by a random ingredient. It ended up working great!

    1. Thanks! Aren't yummy surprises the best?

  6. Girl.. You are soo funn! Are you out of college for the summer? I hope you are getting yourself into some shenanigans. I am making chicken for a friend Sunday night and I am using your recipe. I love mayo. I don't know why people always act so weird about it, it's just eggs and oil. Secret ingredient that wow folks? Hmmm.. probably onions cooked in bacon grease !!

    1. haha Yes, partially. I'm doing a couple of summer courses as well, which have surprisingly kept me just as busy as during the school year! I guess it's because they condense an entire semester into a single month but, pfft--that is not how it should be. :D

      Hope you guys enjoy the chicken!! Oh, and onions + bacon grease sounds like a must-try!

  7. Koci, that looks stunning and what an interesting post. My aunt who lived in the US for many years makes an amazing dip. She finally divulged her secret recipe: Mayo and onion soup mix! If I'd known I'd never had tried it but it gooooooood.


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