Tuesday, October 27, 2009
If you are the family cook, you need to have this recipe in your arsenal. It's a family favorite and easy to make. You can substitute your favorite jarred tomato sauce if you prefer, but I encourage you to try this super-easy sauce from scratch, using a large can of crushed tomatoes. Here are the cutlets as they should look after frying...
Panko breadcrumbs make a huge difference in the breading. They are found in the ethnic aisle of the supermarket and they're great to have on hand. Feel free to use only panko, only fine breadcrumbs, or a combination. I found that the combination works well to get maximum bread crumb coverage. Top the breaded and fried cutlets with a little sauce and some cheese and slide them into the oven to finish off. Serve with a green salad for a delicious and easy weeknight meal.
adapted from The New Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated
For the Tomato Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the Chicken Cutlets:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed and reserved for another use
3/4 cup panko Japanese-style bread crumbs
1/4 plain dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
olive oil for frying
3/4 pound spaghetti or linguine
3/4 shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the garlic and oil together in a large saucepan until the garlic becomes fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, and spices and simmer at least 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Keep sauce warm until ready to use.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts on a cutting board between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken breasts to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
Set up your breading assembly line by lining up three shallow bowls. Place the flour in the first bowl. Whisk the eggs with a splash of water in the second bowl. Mix together the panko, dry breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
Sprinkle the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, then dip both sides of the cutlets in flour (shake off excess), then dip cutlets in the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs on lightly with your hands.
Heat a 12" non-stick skillet over med-high heat with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot but not smoking (the chicken should sizzle right away after you add them to the pan). Add the chicken cutlets to the pan without crowding them. (You may have to do this in batches, wiping out the pan and adding oil with each batch.) Cook until the cutlets are a deep golden brown, then turn the cutlets over and cook the other side until nice and golden. Add oil if the pan seems too dry. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place in a casserole dish big enough to fit all the cutlets in a single layer.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to al dente.
Top each cutlet with a spoonful of tomato sauce, then some mozzarella cheese, then a sprinkling of Parmesan. Bake in the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Serve on top of, or alongside, the spaghetti and sauce.
Labels: Main Dishes