The finished sauce will be lightly thickened by the breadcrumbs that fall into the sauce as the chicken bakes. My favorite way to serve this is with simply steamed green beans: Set the chicken on top of the beans and pour the tasty sauce around the chicken, not over it—you want the breadcrumbs to stay crunchy.
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
- 1⁄2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably the Sicilian or Greek type dried on the branch, crumbled, divided
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock or canned, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise on a diagonal to yield two pieces of roughly equal size. Place two pieces at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound gently with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small heavy saucepan to flatten them slightly to about 1/2 inch thick.
Toss the breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano, and salt to taste, together in a bowl until blended. Spread 1 teaspoon of the breadcrumb mixture over each piece of chicken, reserving the remaining crumbs. Roll each chicken piece into a compact shape and fasten securely with a toothpick.
Arrange the filled chicken breasts side by side in a 9 x13-inch, preferably flameproof baking dish. (There should be some space between each piece of chicken.) Stir the wine, stock, lemon juice, red pepper (if using), the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and salt to taste, together in a small bowl. Pour into the baking dish. Whack the garlic with the flat side of a knife and scatter them among the chicken pieces. Bake 10 minutes.
Top the chicken with the remaining breadcrumb mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the breadcrumb topping is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes more.
If the roasting pan is flameproof, place it directly over medium high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, and bring the pan juices to a boil. Boil until lightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. (If the roasting pan is not flameproof, transfer the chicken rolls to a warm platter and pour the juices into a skillet before bringing them to a boil.) Remove the garlic cloves, or leave them in if you like. Gently transfer the chicken pieces to plates with a slotted spoon. Pull the toothpicks from the chicken without loosening the breadcrumb topping. Pour the sauce around, not over, the chicken pieces and serve immediately.
Toss together the breadcrumb mixture; help pound the chicken; juice the lemons; pluck the parsley leaves and chop (if older); and crush and peel the garlic.