Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ranch-Crusted Chicken and Avocado Melts

There are some nights where healthy completely goes out the window. Some days where the meal that seems the easiest and most satisfying to make, is comfort food. My version of comfort food is this meal. A chicken cutlet breaded and baked in ranch dressing mix and panko bread crumbs. This sandwich is built from the ground up with a toasted sub roll topped with ranch dressing, an avacado-tomato salsa, ranch breaded chicken cutlet and shredded mozzarella.

This was a first for me, using ranch dressing mix to coat chicken. I was surprised with how much flavor was packed in this chicken. This melt was definitely a entree and side dish all in one, so no need to make a side dish to accompany this meal.

I suppose that the chicken ranch melt would have been enough with just the chicken, ranch and cheese... but why not incorporate some veggies and healthy fats?

So this sandwich has a bit more involved in putting it together than your typical comfort food. But nothing that planning and preparation cant fix. You can make the avocado-tomato salsa the day before and if you have even more time, you can also make the chicken cutlets the day before too. I know one thing... whether you plan ahead to make this a quick fix dinner, or have the time to make it fresh all in the same night... you will definitely enjoy this for dinner!

Ranch-Crusted Chicken and Avocado Melts

2 Italian Hoagie Rolls, cut into halves
4 boneless chicken breasts, either thinly sliced or pounded down
3 eggs, beaten
3 oz dry ranch dressing mix
4 oz panko bread crumbs
1 Hass avocado, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
4 oz ranch dressing
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place eggs, ranch dressing mix and bread crumbs in separate bowls to prep for coating the chicken. Coat each chicken breast in eggs, then ranch dressing mix, then bread crumbs. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked throughout.
In a separate bowl, combine avocado, tomato, salt and lemon zest.
While chicken is cooking, place roll halves in toaster oven to toast until lightly crispy. I also added a little butter on the bread before toasting it. Remove rolls from toaster oven and drizzle 1 tsp of ranch dressing to each half.
Top each half of roll with avocado mixture, 1 chicken breast, and 1 oz shredded mozzarella cheese. Place prepared rolls back on baking sheet.
Set oven to broil on hi. Place baking sheet in oven until cheese is melted and golden brown, approximately 1 minute. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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