Served here with barley & mushrooms
Prep time: 5 minutes
Fridge time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
¼ cup flour (for a healthier version use whole wheat pastry flour)
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp olive oil
½ cup Panko crumbs
¼ cup coarsely grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Olive oil for frying
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Butterfly the chicken breasts (lay the breast on a cutting surface, slice almost, but not all the way through the breast, cutting parallel to the board. You will now have double the circumference). Cover with plastic wrap and whack with a heavy mallet or fry pan to flatten the chicken evenly….now you have a cutlet.
2. Bread the chicken pieces… three steps: ...put the flour, paprika and thyme in a zip lock baggie...beat the egg in a small bowl with a little olive oil...mix the bread crumbs and cheese and place this mixture on a plate.
Dust chicken with the flour mixture (I just throw one piece at a time into the bag and shake);
Place the floured chicken in the egg and coat both sides;
Lay the chicken on the Panko crumb mixture and flip, coating both sides well.
3. Place the breaded chicken in the fridge (side by side, not on top of each other) to set the coating for 10-15 minutes (actually you can leave this step for up to a couple of hours).
4. Heat a little oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat and fry the chicken for 3 minutes or so per side. The outside should be golden and the chicken will lose any pink coloring but still be juicy.
Another option is to forget about butterflying and just cut the chicken into strips. Follow the same procedure and you chicken fingers to die for.
You can serve these with any side dish and a squirt of lemon juice. Or it can easily become Chicken Parmesan with a little marinara sauce and some grated cheese. Just heat the sauce before ladling over the chicken, top it all with the cheese and stick it under the broiler for a minute to melt the cheese and give it a golden hue.