Parmesan chicken with quick sautéed tomatoes on pesto couscous

By Mary Berg
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  • 1-1/2 cups couscous
  • 2-3 tablespoons store bought basil pesto
  • 2-3 tablespoons store bought basil pesto
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water


  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ground Parmesan cheese*, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • 350 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the couscous, pour the couscous into a medium heatproof bowl and add in two tablespoons of pesto and the salt. Pour over the boiling water, give it a quick stir to combine, and place a dinner plate over the bowl to create a bit of a lid. Set aside while you get to work on the chicken.
  2. For the chicken, place a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. While the skillet preheats, place the chicken breasts onto a large piece of parchment paper and cover them with a second sheet of parchment. Using a meat mallet or a wooded rolling pin, evenly pound the chicken breasts until they are about one centimeter thick. Cut each breast into two and set aside.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine the all purpose flour, Italian seasoning, if using, garlic powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. In a separate shallow dish, beat the eggs until well combined. In a third shallow dish, combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the oil and butter to the preheated skillet, turning it down to medium if the pan is smoking hot. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture making sure to tap off any excess, dip into the egg, and finally the Parmesan mixture. Carefully add the chicken to the hot pan and cook, undisturbed, for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side or until golden brown and the coating is set. Flip the chicken over and cook for another two to three minutes or until cooked through and golden brown all over. Remove the chicken to a plate to rest.
  5. For the tomatoes, add them along with the additional oil to the hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they burst and get a little saucy, about three to four minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, remove the plate from the couscous and fluff it gently with a fork. If you’d like a little more basil flavour, feel free to add another tablespoon of pesto. Divide the couscous onto your plates then top with the Parmesan chicken. Stir the basil into the tomatoes and spoon it over the chicken. Garnish with a little more Parmesan and maybe a bit more basil and enjoy!
  7. *Make sure you use ground Parmesan cheese (the stuff you get in the deli section at the grocery store in those little tubs), not grated. Grated will burn quickly while the ground stuff just makes a nice crust.

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