Al fresco dining is one of my favorite parts of Spring. In the summer, the humidity and bugs take over and make eating outside miserable. But in the Spring, it’s not unbearable hot and the bugs haven’t made their way into my backyard.
This truly is a lightened-up comfort food kind of meal. The tomato sauce is a combination of roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, thyme, chicken broth and white wine. Allowing the tomatoes to roast before making the sauce (more of a chutney, in my opinion) adds such a depth of flavor. And despite not having any sugar added, the sweetness of the tomatoes really shines. The chicken cutlets are coated in a mixture of mayonnaise, almond milk and Parmesan cheese that serves as the “glue” for the panko-coating. The result was super tender yet crispy chicken that was full of flavor. The panko-coating was a mixture of gluten-free panko (which worked fantastically), Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Once the chicken was cooked through, a sliced of mozzarella was added to the top before broiling for the perfectly browned crust and melted cheese. The chicken was topped with basil confetti before serving for a pop of freshness.
On the side, a simple spinach salad with a sweet and sour bacon vinaigrette. Bacon fat is used instead of oil and is mixed with apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper for a simple but amazing flavor combination. But is bacon ever bad?
The end result, a meal that made me smile. Comforting, fresh, healthy and full of flavor. I couldn’t ask for much more.