Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3, 2011: Crispy Crusted Chicken Cutlets Recipe

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One of my favorite ways to eat chicken is with a crispy crust or coating. But… I’m trying my best to cut down on calories, so even though I love the skin, I’ve been taking it off. I’m a dark meat lover and there’s nothing I like more than a crispy, crunchy thigh. *sigh*

I’ve found that I can still get that wonderful crispiness without skin by breading the chicken. This is the best recipe I’ve come across for making moist, tender-on-the-inside crunchy-on-the-outside chicken. It works great for either boneless, skinless breasts or thighs.

Crispy Crusted Chicken Cutlets

4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken (breasts and/or thighs), lightly pounded to even thickness
2 eggs
2 t. cornstarch
Juice of ½ lemon
2 cups coarse, dry breadcrumbs
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 t. dried parsley)
1 t. kosher salt
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest of the half lemon
6 T. olive oil

Start by preparing the bread crumbs. Use a good quality bread (an artisan bread like ciabatta or sourdough are good choices). Tear into pieces and process in your food processor until crumbs (not too finely). Place the crumbs on a baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven for about 15 minutes until dry but not toasted. Combine the breadcrumbs with the parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.

Combine the eggs, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Add the chicken, one piece at a time, coating completely with the egg mixture. Transfer to the pan with breadcrumb mixture and pat the crumbs all over the chicken. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.

Let the chicken set on a wire rack or plate for about half an hour. This resting period is important; it will help the crumbs stay on the chicken.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, ovenproof skillet. When hot, add the chicken pieces, cooking 1 – 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken in the skillet to the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes.

Tip: I used various types of bread leftover from over meals for the crumbs, including garlic cheese biscuits. This is also a great opportunity to use up those heels of bread no one seems to want.

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