From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of September 12, 2011
Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Panko Crusted Chicken with Grilled Peach Salsa

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Seasonal peaches are still available in September, so now is a good time to get creative with this juicy fruit and pair it with chicken for a new flavor combination.

Peaches are native to China although the scientific name persica and the word peach are derived from an early European belief that they were native to Persia, now present day Iran. Peach varieties are divided into clingstones and freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the pit or not. They also can be yellow or white. The white are typically very sweet with little acidity and the yellow variety tends to be a bit more acidic.

Panko, the Japanese version of breadcrumbs, tend to be lighter, crispier and crunchier than traditional breadcrumbs. They have a coarser grind, more like flakes than crumbs. The large surface melds well with flavors and they tend to stay crispy and absorb less oil.

The salsa includes jalapeno for a touch of zest and heat with mint for cool freshness. Adding this fruit salsa to a poultry dish is consistent with a healthy, cancer-protective diet based on mostly plant foods such as fruits and vegetables. To complete your meal, consider adding your favorite baked squash and some lightly steamed spinach to this wonderful chicken.

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Peach Salsa

  • Canola oil cooking spray
    4 medium peaches, halved and pitted
    2 green onions (scallions), finely sliced
    1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
    1 lime, juice and zest
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
    2 Tbsp. fresh mint chopped
    1 tsp. honey (optional)

Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium high heat. Place peaches flesh side down and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until peach is tender and heated through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. When peaches are cool enough to handle chop into chunks, add and gently toss to thoroughly combine salsa. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes or make in advance and refrigerate.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups


  • Canola oil cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 (1 lb. total) chicken cutlets
  • Fresh mint leaves or lime wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

In bowl, season panko with garlic powder, cayenne pepper if using and salt and pepper to taste.

Place egg in shallow bowl and panko crumbs in another bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then dredge chicken in panko crumbs. Arrange on baking sheet repeating with remaining cutlets.

Bake chicken on each side for 10 minutes for total cooking time of 20 minutes. Then broil for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve chicken with peach salsa on top and garnish with fresh mint leaves or lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 1 chicken cutlet with 1/4 cup peach salsa.

Per serving: 214 calories, 4 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 17 g carbohydrate,
27 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 121 mg sodium.

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