Friday, February 14, 2014

Week Night Chicken Milanese

This is a super easy week night dinner that is so tasty you'll want to make it all of the time.  You can definitely have this on the table in twenty five minutes or less :)  I saw a similar recipe on Food and Wine's website.  I changed it up a little and my family loves it.  It's one of those recipes that is so easy to prepare and there is no coaxing involved- the kids just come to the table and eat it up.  The tomatoes usually don't make it in their mouth, but hey - I'll keep trying.  Mason and Gabby usually have swim lessons on Thursday nights and I find that it's a great night for this meal.  We need to be out of the house in a hurry and it's a substantial enough dinner that they don't get hungry half way through their lessons.  Another bonus is that you probably have most of these ingredients in your fridge!  Enjoy!

Cut your chicken breasts in half the long way and place them in a plastic bag.  Using the flat side of a meat pounder, pound the meat so that it's about a 1/4 of a inch thick.  Be careful not to over pound.  You just want to tenderize the meat.  

The secret to this recipe is to get the chicken uniformly thin for reduced and even cooking time.

Have two bowls ready one for your egg mixture and one for your bread crumbs and make a mini assembly line.  I find it's helpful to keep homemade bread crumbs in the refrigerator or freezer for easy access.  Use the ends or slices of Udi's bread and place them in a food processor or blender.  For this particular recipe leave the bread crumbs out uncovered overnight so they get a little crispy.  If you forget to do them the night before, it's not a big deal.  However, pounding the chicken and preparing the breadcrumbs ahead of time will really speed up this recipe even more. 

La Recette:

2 lbs. chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise and pounded thin
4 cups breadcrumbs
4-5 tablespoons Canola Oil
2 extra large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or another wine white vinegar
2-2.5 cups arugula
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish

-Divide up the halved chicken breasts and place into two large plastic Ziplocs.  Pound the meat until it's uniformly 1/4 inch thick.  
-Combine the eggs and Dijon and into a medium sized bowl and whisk until smooth.
-Place your breadcrumbs into another medium sized bowl and mix in 2.5 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.  Make sure it's mixed well.  Line the bowls up side by side and make a little assembly line.  
-Take chicken breasts one at a time and dip them into the egg mixture making sure it's well coated and then into the breadcrumb bowl making sure each side is covered well.
-Over medium high heat, pour a tablespoon of Canola oil into a large sauté pan and make sure that it's hot and that the oil coats the entire pan.  Place 1-2 chicken breasts into the pan (you should hear a nice sizzle) and cook for 3-4 minutes/side using a spatula to assist with flipping.  It's fine to make a small cut into the chicken to check that it's cooked completely if you aren't sure.  For each new chicken batch use another tablespoon of Canola Oil.  If there are a lot of left over crumbs in the pan, I wipe it out between batches.  
-In the meantime, place the tomatoes into a small bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and mix in the tablespoon of champagne or white wine vinegar.  Set aside.
-In another small bowl combine the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.  Whisk until well combined.  Add in 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and mix well.
-Divide the arugula onto 4 plates and drizzle with the olive oil and lemon dressing.
-Place the warm chicken onto the arugula and garnish each plate with tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
-For the Parmesan cheese, I buy a big block and use a regular vegetable peeler to shave off small slices. This can be done to taste.

*Serves about 4 people.
*If you have an egg allergy, try brushing each chicken breast with a small amount of Dijon, then dip it into the breadcrumbs.
*If you have a dairy allergy, the Parmesan is optional.  

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