Seasoning with caraway seeds dates at least to ancient Egypt. The ‘seeds’ are actually fruit, and they’re said to be the first herb used in Europe. Like so many old, old seasonings, they started out as a—gulp!—health food, supposedly an to aid digestion. That’s why you find them in traditional Northern European recipes for cabbage, cauliflower, sauerkraut, and rye bread. But don’t hold healthiness against them. Their strong, clean, nutty bite is a perfect foil for rich meat dishes, like this creamy chicken Parmesan. SAM
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Dip the chicken breasts in the egg and roll them in bread crumbs. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until a test drop of egg sizzles. Brown the chicken on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and place in a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Combine the half-and-half, Parmesan, parsley, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper and pour over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 or 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Makes 6 servings.