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Asiago-Encrusted Chicken Breasts—A Restaurant Quality Entrée

I don’t know about you, but with the increasing cost of dining out, we are eating more meals at home. Although we feel we are saving money, we do miss some of the dishes our favorite restaurants prepare. So, I’ve been on a kick lately—re-creating some of our favorite restaurant fare at home.

The Rock Bottom Brewery used to have an Asiago-encrusted chicken breast on its menu. Of all the entrées their kitchen prepared, this was my absolute favorite. For some reason, which the server could not explain, they no longer make this particular preparation. So, I concocted my own version. Encrusting chicken breasts in an Asiago cheese-breadcrumb mixture leaves the meat quite moist and very juicy.

You can use Parmesan cheese if you don’t have Asiago on hand; however, I prefer Asiago in this recipe. It is a semi-hard yet smooth cheese that has a nuttier, sweeter, creamier flavor than Parmesan. Its mildly sharp flavor accents mellow-flavored dishes like chicken. In addition, Asiago is a moister cheese than Parmesan, and, therefore, melts nicely when cooked.

I created a Dijon mustard sauce to drizzle over the chicken breasts—the results were heavenly—which the Rock Bottom Brewery did not offer. They served their Asiago Encrusted Chicken Breasts with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Asiago-Encrusted Chicken Breasts

with a Dijon Mustard Sauce

Serves 4

Chicken breasts are quite large these days. Use smaller, thinner breasts for best results.

For the Dijon mustard sauce:

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small heavy saucepan, place cream over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in mustard, salt, and pepper and decrease heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by half. You will know the sauce is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to serve.

For the chicken:

¾ cup shredded Asiago cheese

¼ cup Japanese (panko) breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

1 extra large egg

1 tablespoon water

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt to taste

Large grind black pepper to taste

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor or blender, place Asiago cheese and breadcrumbs and process to combine. Transfer the cheese mixture to a medium shallow bowl, add parsley, and stir to combine. On a large plate, place flour. In a medium shallow bowl, add egg and water and whisk to combine.

Season chicken breasts on both sides to taste with salt and pepper. Coat breasts one at a time in flour and shake off any excess. Dip breasts one at a time in the egg wash and then coat on all sides with the Asiago breadcrumb mixture.

In a large nonstick sauté pan, place olive oil over a medium-high heat. When olive oil shimmers, add chicken breasts and cook, turning once, for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown on the outside and cooked through. Serve immediately with the mustard sauce on the side.

Shopping for chicken: Packages of chicken should feel cold to the touch when they are in the supermarket cooler. Grocery stores do from time to time have trouble with refrigeration, so never purchase chicken that feels warm. Fresh chicken often sits in a pink liquid. This is mostly water absorbed by the chicken during the chilling process. While this pink liquid is unattractive, it is not harmful. Always check dates on packages. If the chicken has reached its “Sell-By” date, cook or freeze it that same day. Never purchase product that has passed its “Sell-By” date.

If purchasing frozen chicken, it should be rock-hard and show no signs of ice crystals or freezer burn inside the package. Choose packages that are below the freezer line in the grocer’s case.

Chicken meat can be white or yellow in color. Its pigment does not affect its quality or nutritional value. If chickens are fed substances containing yellow pigment, then the color of their flesh will be more yellow than white.

When selecting chicken, shop with your eyes and your nose. Look for meat that is not transparent, blotchy, or dried around the edges. Fresh chicken has a clean smell.

Shopping for Asiago cheese: Asiago is a semi-firm Italian cheese with a rich, nutty flavor. Young Asiago cheese is eaten as a table cheese. It comes in small wheels with glossy rinds. Its yellow interior has many small holes. When aged over one year, it becomes hard and is suitable for shredding. It is difficult to find young Asiago cheese in a typical supermarket, but you can always find it in the deli section already shredded in 1-pint containers.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

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