Looking for a quick spin on chicken to shake up a weeknight meal? Try Parmesan Crusted Chicken, the winning recipe of the first Hellmann's Chicken Challenge, a series of cooking challenges to find the best mayo-enhanced chicken dish, hosted by celeb actor and dad Mark Consuelos (hubby to Kelly Ripa), Top Chef Masters' chef Tim Love and lifestyle expert Sissy Biggers. We caught the showdown live to get a taste of the competition—and the chicken!
As it turns out, mayo can be more than just a deli meat-topper or potato salad mix-in. Hellman's pros suggest using light mayo in a recipe to keep chicken moist. Since it's seasoned, you don't have to add salt or pepper to the dish. And good news for the calorie counters: You don't need to use a ton of it to get the flavor you're after. The proof is in the taste, as all three recipes in the audience-judged competition, Parmesan, Chipotle Lime and BBQ Cheddar, were delicious. Post-taste test, we caught up with Mark, who cooked the winning dish (recipe below!), to find out how he and Kelly stay fit and get dinner on the table for their busy family.
Do you and Kelly share the cooking duties at home? Kelly does most of the cooking, but I do the grilling. Even when I do, she's making five or six side dishes—different kinds of salads. The kids can be picky, but they love steak, burgers, halibut (we try to get them to eat a lot of fish) and of course, chicken. We always have plenty of vegetables to balance it out.
How do you manage to fit prepping healthy meals into a hectic day? Even with our crazy schedules and kids, it always tends to work out. Kelly's job is in the morning and my office is near our apartment, so we actually get to cook and eat dinner together as a family often.
What about your workout? Do you and Kelly stay fit together? We don't—she does a lot of dance stuff and I like to cycle and cross train. I'll lift a few days a week. I really got into road cycling and racing this year, and it's great.
Do you think you'll ever do a triathlon? I only run if someone is chasing me, and though I'm a good swimmer, I'd rather lounge in the pool, so no. I'll stick to a bike race!
Mark's Winning Parmesan Crusted Chicken Serves 4
- 1/2 cup Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 pounds)
- 4 tsp Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl.
- Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
- Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.