Potato-Chip Crusted Chicken with Arugula Pesto

Potato-Chip Crusted Chicken with Arugula Pesto
Aubrie Pick

Something we never admit but all know is true: Even bad chicken Parmigiana is good. We totally eatā€”and loveā€”it cold, same as pizza. It can be made with suck-o tomato sauce or questionable ā€œcheeseā€ that looks like baked Shrinky Dinks, and still we accept it. Imagine what properly melty mozzarella-blanketed chicken Parmigiana could be under the best circumstancesā€”coated with potato chips, smeared with a bright electric-green sauceā€”and you should arrive at this tour de force. Try it in sub form on a long, thick roll, slapped with extra pesto, topped with arugula leaves, and hit with a squeeze of lemon. Or, bypass the broiler and eat the chicken without the cheese or pesto, enjoying the maximum crunch from the chips.


  • 1Ā½ cups packed fresh arugula
  • Ā½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 medium clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • Ā¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (scantĀ¾ cup)
  • Ā¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Ā½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ā¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flourā€
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Ā¼ cup whole milkā€
  • 1Ā½ cups finely crushed kettle-style potato chipsā€
  • Ā¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (8 to 10 ounces each)
  • 8 (Ā¼-inch-thick) slices fresh unsalted mozzarella


  1. In a food processor, pulse together the arugula, parsley, garlic, hazelnuts, Parmesan, and salt to form a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly stream in the olive oil as you continue pulsing to form a smooth, bright sauce. Taste and adjust for salt as needed.
  2. Place a baking rack on a parchment-lined baking sheet and coat the rack with cooking spray. Set a rack in the oven so that when your chicken is raised on the baking rack, itā€™s 2 or 3 inches away from the broiler. Preheat the oven to 400Ā°F.
  3. Spread Ā¼ cup flour on a large plate and season with a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Add the milk to a medium bowl and season with a pinchĀ each of salt andĀ blackĀ pepper. Ā Fill a separate medium bowl with the potato chip crumbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon flour, and the cayenne. Stir to combine.
  4. Season each chicken breast on both sides with a pinch each of salt and black pepper. OneĀ at a time, dip each breast in the seasoned flour to coat, shaking off any excess, then dunk in the milk, letting any excess drip off, and roll through the potato-chip mixture, pressing to coat. Place on the prepared baking rack. Pat any remaining potato-chip coating on top of the breasts.
  5. Bake the chicken breasts until their crusts are golden, theyā€™re just cooked through, and their juices run clear, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn on the broiler.
  6. Cover each breast with 2 pieces of mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbling and just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large serving platter and let rest for Ā 5 minutes. Gently smear a few spoonfuls of the pesto over each breast and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Kitchen Remix by Charlotte Druckman, copyright Ā© 2020. Photographs by Aubrie Pick. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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