Breaded Chicken Cutlets

March 19, 2011

Fried chicken is one of my secret guilty pleasures… The crispy skin under the delicious breading with juicy meat all thrown in together with hot sauce, oh yea, I am in foodie heaven! Now that you know my secret obsession, I also need to let you in on a little secret that I am perfectly aware that I don’t eat it all that often. When Red and I were planning our wedding; we talked about having a low key fried chicken reception. But we backed away from that since we figured that not too many people would be too receptive of our “whacky” idea. We went with the traditional plated fish and beef dinners instead. This chicken recipe is a go-to recipe at our house; when we crave fried chickens, but want a quicker and less-messy version. It is also delicious eaten as a chicken sandwich, although I love them on their own without the buns. The key here is to make sure that you pound the chicken to even thickness so they cook thoroughly and can have that crispiness that we all want from fried chickens. Happy Eating!

Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5 to 6 ounces each), tenderloin removed and reserved for another use, fat trimmed
1/2 cup kosher salt or 1/4 cup table salt
1/2 cup sugar
5-8 slices high quality white bread such as Pepperidge Farm, crusts removed and torn into rough 1-1/2 inches pieces (or, if you don’t have white bread available, use panko instead, this is what I did)
Ground black pepper
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Lemon Wedges for serving

Directions
Use rubber mallet, meat pounder, or rolling pin to pound chicken breasts to even 1/2-inch thickness. Dissolve salt and sugar in 1-quart cold water in gallon-sized zipper lock plastic bag. Add cutlets and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate 30 minutes. Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels.

Remove cutlets and lay in single layer on baking sheet; cover with another triple layer paper towels and press firmly to absorb moisture. Allow cutles to dry for 10 minutes. Process bread in food processor until evenly fine-textured, 20 to 30 seconds (you should have about 1-1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs). Transfer crumbs to pie plate. Carefully peel paper towels off cutlets, sprinkle cutlets with pepper and set aside.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set heat proof plate on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spread flour in second pie plate. Beat eggs with 1 tbsp oil in third pie plate.

Working one at a time, dredge cutlets thoroughly in flour, shaking off excess. Using tongs, dip both sides of cutlets in egg mixture, taking care to coat thoroughly, allowing excess to drip back into pie plate to ensure very thin coating. Dip both sides of cutlets in bread crumbs, pressing crumbs with fingers to form even, cohesive coat. Place breaded cutlets in single layer on wire rack set over baking sheet and allow coating to dry for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile heat 6 tablespoons of remaining oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-inch non stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, around 2 minutes. Lay two cutlets gently in skillet; cook until golden brown and crisp, 2-1/2 minutes  total.

Flip cutlets using tongs, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until meat feels firm when pressed gently and second side is deep golden brown and crisp, about 2-1/2 to 3 minutes longer. Line a plate with paper towels, set cutlets on top. If you’d like, use an oven-safe dish, and keep the chickens warm in the oven.

Discard oil, wipe skillet, and repeat the frying process with fresh new oil. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

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Corn Tortilla Chicken Lasagna

May 5, 2010

I love tex-mex flavor; but don’t get to make any dishes with that flavoring enough at home.  I don’t normally have a jar of salsa or tortilla laying around, therefore it’s really easy to exclude it from the weekly menu because I tend to start my menu based on what I have at home, then add some variations to it. As a nod to Cinco de Mayo’s day, I thought that I’d whip up this dish as variation; although it is really fabulous all year long considering how easy it is to assemble!

This recipe originally makes two casseroles (using 9×13 dish), but since I was only going to make one casserole, I had to make some modifications to the size used so that I didn’t waste the ingredients. Instead of 9×13 casserole dish, I also split it up into two pans of  9×9 inch so I could bake one and save the other one for later. Happy eating!

Adapted from Taste of Home Holiday, Potlucks & Barbecues

Ingredients
18 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
2 cans (13 ounces each) of cubed chicken
2 cans (16 ounces each) of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar of salsa of your choice (24 ounce)
2 large green peppers, diced
1 can (16 ounce) of ripe olives
1 -1/2 cups of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 -1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions
In a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, arrange 9 of the tortillas. Top each with half of all of the ingredients (chicken, kidney bean, green pepper, ripe olives, sour cream, salsa, and both type of cheeses). Repeat layer.

Cover and bake at 350 degree for 25 minutes. Uncover, and bake another 10-15 min or longer until the cheese on top is melted. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 1 casserole (8-12 servings each)


Chicken Salad

April 11, 2010

Red introduced me to this fantastic chicken salad when we first started dating over four years ago; and I was hooked from the first bite. I had already loved chicken salad before we met; and his version had more fabulous additions that I loved even more: chopped apple, sliced grapes, blue cheese and toasted walnuts. This is definitely one of our favorite lunches in the summer: it is hearty, crunchy and full of summer flavors. He has made this recipe for so long that he can’t even remember where he adapted this recipe from; but it’s definitely a keeper and will continue to be a regular at our house.

Source: Blissfully Delicious Original

Ingredients
2 cups cubed grilled chicken (marinated with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper and tarragon)
1 cups sliced seedless grapes
1 cups chopped Granny Smith apple (unpeeled)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups low-fat mayo
1/2 cup of blue cheese
1 cup of chopped toasted walnuts

Directions
Mix everything together in a 2-quart bowl using a plastic spatula.
Serve them on your favorite sandwich bread, wrap or lettuce bowl.

Yield: 6-8


Garlic Roast Chicken

November 8, 2009

One of my all-time favorite meals is a simple roasted chicken, and I can enjoy this all year long. Even in the summer evenings. Not only that it is so satisfying, I can find so many use for its leftover!  Sometimes, I would just season them with salt and pepper, and whatever herbs I have at home. Sometimes, I will use lemon juices. This time, I stumbled upon Ina’s recipe on Food Network, where she uses garlic, which I have never really done. I thought that I should give this recipe a try. The garlic flavor really came through nicely in this recipe, and I loved how juicy and tender the meat was. It also had just enough flavor from the salt, pepper and all of the other seasonings without being too overpowering for the chicken! The golden crusted chicken and caramelized vegetables would be sure to impress your family and guests, you must give this simple recipe a try!!

garlic roast chicken

Adapted from Ina Garten, as seen on Food Network

Ingredients

1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
1 lemon, halved
1/2 large Spanish onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut diagonally into 2-inch chunks
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 6 pieces
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

As soon as you get the chicken home, salt it inside and out, wrap it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, first preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff the cavity with the all the garlic and lemon. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place it in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it and the vegetables. Scatter the onion slices, carrots and potatoes around the chicken. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables back in the oven and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes.

When the vegetables are cooked, carve the chicken and place the slices on the platter surrounded by the vegetables. Drizzle some pan juices over the chicken and vegetables.

Yield: 3-4 servings


Roast Chicken Dinner

April 8, 2009

Red picked up two “baby” chickens, not hens, from the grocery store over the weekend. While the bag stated these chickens as “baby” size, they weren’t exactly “baby”. They were about 4-5 lbs each. Originally, we were going to use my baby Foreman Rotisserie, but guess what… it did not fit!!! If anyone has any Foreman Rotisserie, I can use some tips on sizing!!

So we had to switch to plan B, and use a regular roasting rack instead. I didn’t follow any recipe, and decided to just mix this and that to come up with an oil-based marinade. I marinated the chicken for about 3 hrs, and let it cook in the 450 degree oven for 1 hr. I must say it was pretty successful!


We enjoyed this dinner with a glass of 2005 Pinot Noir from our favorite winery in Yountville, CA.

Ingredients
1 piece of 4-5 lb chicken
2 large baking potatoes, cubed
2 pieces of carrots, cut into 1-inch
2 stalks of celery, cut into 1-inch
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch

Marinade
1 1/2 cups of olive oil
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1 tsp of freshly ground black peppercorn
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T of minced garlic
1/2 cup of diced onion
1/2 tsp of thyme

Directions
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, and drizzle on top of the chicken. Marinate for 2-3 hrs.
Warm up the oven to 450 degree.
Toss all of the vegetables together, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Place chicken on top of the vegetables.
Cook for 1 hr.
Remove from heat, cover with an aluminum foil for 20 mins.
Serve hot.

Yield: 5-6 servings