Saturday, January 29, 2011

Counter space and chicken cutlets.....

I have to show you all the bane of my existence, my complete and total lack of kitchen counter space.

That picture is all I've got!  It is actually the top of my portable dishwasher.  Well, ok, I do have a little more space but it is in this little tiny room where my sink is so it doesn't really make a difference.  Someday when my kitchen is clean enough to be seen by the world I will take pictures of the whole poorly laid out room.  You will weep for me.

On nights like tonight this lack of counter space can be a big problem.  Tonight's dinner was chicken cutlets and mushroom risotto.  Pretty simple but I used all four burners on the stove and the counter was a MESS!

See?  It was crazy but it was good!  This has to be one of Mr. Lucky's top 10 meals.  He gets so excited for chicken cutlets, he's like a little kid.  I love to see him so happy over something so simple.  I love the risotto more than the chicken so this meal works out perfectly for us.

The chicken cutlets are super simple to make.  This is another thing that I don't have a recipe for but I will use my best guesses for you. 

Chicken cutlets (amount depends on # of servings I used 1 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 cup of flour
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
3 eggs, beaten
Olive oil for frying

All of these measurements can be adjusted to the amount of chicken you use. 

First you want to set up a breading station.  It is a simple formula: flour, egg, breadcrumbs.  I put the flour and bread crumbs on paper plates so when I am done I can just throw them away.  Raw chicken is bad M'kay! 

See how messy the counter got?

Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder to the flour and mix until well combined.  Coat both sides of the cutlets with the seasoned flour then dip them fully into the eggs.  Finally, coat the cutlets completely in the Panko. 
Please try to ignore the mess!

Once all the cutlets are breaded I put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  I just find that this "solidifies" the breading.  I don't have a better way to describe it, sorry!

To cook these you want to put about a 1/2 inch of oil in a heave bottomed skillet.  I use my wonderful cast iron pan that I use for just about everything.

I keep the heat at medium to medium-low.  You don't want to cook them too fast because then the breading cooks but the chicken inside is raw.  Again, raw chicken is bad M'kay! 

These should take about 2-3 minutes per side and be a nice golden brown when you flip them.  Make sure you don't crowd the pan because it will drop the temperature of the oil and they'll be greasy not crispy.

When I take them out I put them on a paper towel just to absorb any extra oil before serving them.  It seems like a lot but these are really pretty simple.  After you've done this once and have the hang of it you'll love them as much as Mr. Lucky.

Tomorrow I will show you the risotto I made to go with these.


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