May 4, 2012

The Little Black Dress of Chicken

The Little Black Dress of Chicken...  yes.  Seriously, this chicken is good hot, good reheated the next day for lunch, good cold, good in a sandwich hot or cold, and good cut up as part of chicken salad.  Now what other chicken can say that?!  I have mixed feelings about chicken, as most of us probably do.  Chicken breasts can be so tasteless, dry, or too thick, and I often only get excited about the coating...  What if there was a chicken dish that gave you more surface area with a delicious coating while staying juicy and sufficiently flavorful?  Look no further, your chicken has arrived!

The Little Black Dress of Chicken
Chicken Breasts
1-2 eggs (beaten)
1/2-1 cup bread crumbs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
onion powder
unsalted butter
olive oil

To begin, cut your chicken breasts horizontally so that each chicken breast half has been cut into three equally sized pieces (cut like a deck of cards, not into strips).  Place each piece under wax paper and pound using a mallet (the flat side is fine), until the thickness is uniform.  This will take different amounts of pounding, depending on the thickness of each piece.  You want them about 1/4-1/3" thick.

In a pan over medium-high heat- and I should qualify this here- our new home is charming, but the stove and oven are a relatively old Viking and the heat is SERIOUS.  So when I put my burner, which is a serious gas burner on medium heat, that is probably more like medium-high.  So, when I make this, it's just on medium heat, but if you have an electric range, or reasonably tame gas burners, you may want to use medium-high heat.  Back to the chicken!  Take about 1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, and 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil and melt in the pan.

Let's get our chicken ready!  I put the eggs into a bowl and beat them.  On a plate, I mix the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and onion powder.  Feeling nervous about how much?  This is a good guideline- for about 1/2 cup bread crumbs, use about 1/2 tsp. salt, a little less than that of pepper, and about 1/4 tsp. each of the nutmeg and onion powder.  Mix the breadcrumbs and the spices together.  Coat each piece of chicken in the beaten egg, then the breadcrumb mixture.  Working in batches, cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, and add more butter and olive oil as necessary when adding a new batch.

This was a hit this week with my husband, myself and our little boy, who ate about 1 1/2 pieces himself!  It was also delicious for lunch the next day.  We ate ours with mashed potatoes and some roasted sweet potatoes, but you can eat yours with anything you like!  This can also be prepared ahead of time and either cooked right before you eat, or reheated (or not) when it's time to eat.  Enjoy!

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