Lemon and Dijon Chicken with Panko Crust

Cover recipe- Consumer Reports- Food & Fitness, Lemon & Dijon Chicken with Panko Crust: Winter 2011

The cover of Consumer Reports- Food & Fitness caught my eye simply because I had never spotted this magazine before. I’m hooked! I love that they freely discuss brands and rate them. There are recommendations for websites, apps, cookware, fitness gear. It’s definitely an interesting, worthwhile read. I hope that they continue to publish food-related issues.

Their main cover topic is “7 easy ways to eat healthier and lighten up.” The point of their article is that a better method to eating healthy is to make changes that you can live with daily. One simple way to get you jump started: Stock up on ingredients that can help you make smart recipe substitutions in recipes you love. And then they go on to give you suggestions… such as “Instead of heavy cream… use evaporated milk,” with reasons why and chef’s tips, etc. In their “instead of butter” section- they offer an alternative of Dijon mustard to coat chicken, and that’s where their cover recipe comes into play: Lemon and Dijon Chicken with Panko Crust. Read my notes below the recipe to see what I thought of this dish.

Print Recipe

Lemon and Dijon Chicken with Panko Crust

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 min + chill time

Cook Time: 25 min


2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
olive oil spray


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk mustard, garlic, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Set aside.
2. Mix breadcrumbs, thyme, lemon peel, remaining salt and cayenne pepper in shallow bowl. Place wire rack on rimmed baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Coat chicken in breadcrumb mixture and place on rack. Spritz lightly with olive oil spray.
3. Bake chicken 25 minutes, or until cooked through, covering loosely with foil during last 5 minutes of baking time if chicken is browning too much.


*I actually let the chicken sit in the marinade for a while- about an hour (stuck in in the fridge while I was getting other things prepared for dinner).
*Don't be afraid of the Dijon- it's not hot in this recipe.
*Make sure you use Panko and not regular breadcrumbs- my feeling is that regular breadcrumbs just wouldn't be all that great in this recipe.
*There's a reason why you should put a wire rack on a baking sheet and let it cook that way... the hot air in the oven needs a way to be able to circulate around the chicken, cook it evenly and cook it crisply.  Just placing a cookie cooling rack over a flat cookie sheet or jelly roll pan will work just fine.
*I only had canola spray, so I used that instead of olive oil spray.
*25 minutes was the perfect amount of time for cooking the chicken all the way through in my oven.

Source: Consumer Reports Food & Fitness, Winter 2011

The results:

I thought this recipe was very worthwhile.  The Dijon, lemon and thyme bring great flavor, the Panko crust came out nice and crispy and the chicken was tender and moist.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes!  It was an easy dinner, and it was healthy too!  What this magazine is missing… nutritional information for each recipe!