And, more recipes...

Who doesn't love fried chicken?  Oh, I know, there has to be someone out there but for most of us, fried chicken is a delicious, guilty pleasure, right?  So it's something I don't make a lot but when I do, I really enjoy it.  This post focuses on a slightly abridged version of fried chicken that doesn't take as long to make but has every bit of that crispy, rich experience we associate with it.  Because let's face it, it takes a long time to get chicken on the bone cooked through.  This version leaves out the bones, adds a stress reliever and ends up with a truly flavorful and juicy final product.  The recipe is for Chicken Milanese.  Yes, we're heading to Italy, yet again but the food is terrific so why not?

Chicken Milanese takes a boring, boneless skinless chicken breast from it's unwanted, red-headed stepchild state to well, Cinderella.  I love fairy tales but this one comes true!  It takes a little preparation (but doesn't everything that is worthwhile?) and room on your counter but in the end, this will possibly become a staple in your cooking repertoire.

The "tricky" part of making chicken this way is the 3-stage breading.  If you are already familiar with this technique, then you're way ahead of the game and almost home!  If you're not, read on...3-stage breading requires three stations (what?!).  The first is the flour base, the second is beaten egg and the third is bread crumbs.  You dip the pounded chicken breast.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot!  You get to beat the crap out of the chicken breast!  We have the. best. time. doing that in our classes.  It's easy and fun.  Place one chicken breast in between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Grab a mallet or heavy saute pan and pound away until the breast is an even 1/2" think all the way around.  You can pound it more but don't tear it up.  Repeat with as many chicken breasts as you have.  Now back to the breading part of our program...dip the pounded breast into the flour (shake off the excess), then into the beaten egg and then the bread crumbs.  With your other hand, coat the chicken with the bread crumbs and then move it to a platter or sheet pan.  Be sure to add seasoning to every stage.  Remember that layering flavor thing?  This is where you can really get some flavor into this bird.  Always salt and pepper but you can add herbs and spices to all stages or even something spicy, like Sriracha to the egg.  You are only limited by your imagination.  You can bread all of your chicken and then let it hang out until you're ready to fry it.  If it's going to be 30 minutes or longer, let it hang out in the fridge,

Then you're ready to fry.  Use canola or other flavorless oil with a high smoking point (that means it won't burn or catch on fire).  Make sure it is hot before you put your chicken in.  Test it by dropping a bread crumb in it.  If it sizzles and bounces around in the oil right away, you're ready to fry.  If you put chicken (or other things with breading) in cold oil, they will soak up too much oil and will be greasy.  Fry the chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and beautiful and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted into the center of the breast.  Remove from the oil and place on thick paper towels or a cooling rack so you can drain extra oil from it.

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before you cut into it or serve it because it will be HOT!  Also, meat likes to rest.  It allows all of the delicious juices to redistribute throughout the meat so every bite is delicious.

So there you are.  A perfect fried chicken breast.  It was my inspiration for...oh wait, I can't tell you yet.

But you'll want to SAVE THE DATE for when I can reveal where I became inspired to make this chicken breast.  Mark your calendar for the evening of Wednesday, April 19.  We're going to have a party at the kitchen and you're going to want to be there.

Keep an eye on your email...we'll share the deets as soon as we can.

And as always...

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April classes are coming atcha!  And, here is that recipe, one more time for emphasis.

Chicken Milanese with Burst Tomatoes

Serves 4

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 cups grape tomatoes

1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Place chicken breast, one at a time, between sheets of plastic wrap.  Using meat mallet or rolling pin, flatten chicken to ½”.  Place flour in a flat plate.  Whisk egg in medium bowl.  Mix panko, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper on a separate plate.

Place tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper then drizzle all with olive oil.  Roll/stir tomatoes around so that all are coated with mixture.  Place in the oven and roast until skins burst about 25 minutes.

Dip chicken in flour, then beaten egg; turn to coat. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating completely.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to plates and serve with sauce.