Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April 9: Crispy Chicken Cutlets

We went out tonight with friends who have no kids. Luckily, they are both teachers, so our moderately-ill-behaved toddler is less than totally shocking to them. But sheesh, am I tired or what. I gotta go get myself a life. I shouldn't be dozing off on the couch at 9:45. I am, after all, very cool and ultra-hip.

This is something I rarely make, but I love it. I think it's delicious on a plate, surrounded by a little simple tomato sauce, topped with a slice or two of fresh mozzerella and run under the broiler, with a side of spinach orzo and a hunk of great fresh sourdough bread. There is something delicious and satisfying and not-at-all fussy about a crispy-breaded chicken breast, fried really well, and served simply. This would also make a delicious sandwich, or sliced over a salad of romaine and chopped veggies, or drizzled with a little buffalo wing sauce, with bleu cheese scattered over top and, yet again, run under broiler.

Have you noticed, I'm a sucker for food with cheese melted over it? I might eat our cat if she was covered in melted cheddar. However, if that doesn't particularly appeal, this would also be great with some roasted red potatoes tossed with rosemary and salt and pepper and a little olive oil, then roasted in a hot oven until tender, a simple green salad with a few toasted pecans and a shallot vinaigrette, and a lemon wedge to squeeze over the cutlet.

Crispy Chicken Cutlets

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, split horizontally and lightly pounded
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 /2 cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Combine egg and hot sauce. Combine flour, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste in a shallow plate.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet. When the oil is hot, toast the panko breadcrumbs in oil, tossing together, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from heat, drain bread crumbs on paper-towel lined plate, and let cool. Wipe out pan.

Combine toasted panko, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste, and place in a shallow bowl or plate. Dip each chicken cutlet one at a time in flour, shaking gently to knock off excess, then in egg, then in crumbs, patting on crumbs to help them adhere. Let rest in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Heat half of the remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Place four chicken breasts gently in the oil and fry 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn each one; cook another 2-3 minutes. Move to wire rack in oven. Pour out oil, repeat with remaining oil and cutlets.

Serve immediately.

1 comment:

merseydotes said...

Tell me why everyone is hot for the panko. Why is every recipe using panko now instead of regular dry breadcrumbs? I confess that I haven't looked very hard but I haven't seen panko at our local Giant and am wondering if it's worth a trip to Whole Foods.