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Before I invite people over for dinner, I spend some time flipping through cookbooks, pretending that I'll try something new. But I'm kidding myself, because I pretty much always circle back to a dish called Mrs. Potter's Chicken. The recipe came into my family in August 1997, when my nephew Will was born. After my brother Peter and his wife, Catherine, brought Will home from the hospital, their neighbor Ann Potter -- called Mrs. Potter by their two older kids -- dropped off a dish of crunchy, Parmesan-coated chicken breasts. It was total comfort food and such a hit that Catherine added the recipe to her regular family dinner rotation. When her kids asked what was for supper, she'd say "Mrs. Potter's Chicken," and the name stuck.
The recipe is so good that Catherine shared it with our extended family. I've never met Ann Potter, but I recently tracked her down to thank her for the dish that I've served at so many dinner parties over the years. Ann told me she got this recipe from her mom, who'd named it Marie Murphy's Chicken for the friend who passed it on to her.
The beauty of Mrs. Potter's Chicken is that it's shockingly easy, and it makes even the pickiest eater happy. When I serve this chicken to guests, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that it has just five ingredients and takes about five minutes to prepare. They ask what it's called, and then they say, "Who's Mrs. Potter?" And I get to tell this little story all over again.Mrs. Potter's Chicken
Work: 5 to 10 minutes
Total: 22 minutesIngredients
1 1/2 cups crackers such as Ritz, crushed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (1 1/2 pounds total) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Per Serving: 260 cal, 13g fat (5.5g sat), 396mg sodium, 13g carb, 66mg chol, 21g protein, 0 fiber
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, September 2012.