Excluded from Chicken Cutlet Night? Never.
Unlike Sammi Sweetheart on Jersey Shore, I am not excluded from Chicken Cutlet night (p.s. Food & Wine is all over JS! Who knew?). In fact, to celebrate the second episode of the second season of MTV’s biggest hit, I made chicken cutlets for dinner.
While I was at Westside, I saw that brussels sprouts were on sale. Keith and I made delicious brussels sprouts with bacon over the weekend, so I pounced on the sprouts. Granted, I ended up paying $8 for hand-cut peppered bacon, so perhaps the sale was a fail. Oh well.
It was my first attempt to cook two separate dishes simultaneously, and it turned out better than I could have hoped for (my aunt’s apartment is intact and I still have all 10 fingers).
Chicken Cutlets and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Recipe for sprouts adapted from Paula Deen
For the chicken cutlets:
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half and then pounded out 1/4-inch thick
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (I used Italian-style panko)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan (I stupidly omitted this)
- flour for dredging
- salt and pepper, to taste
- oil for frying
Feeling lazy, I bought pre-cut chicken cutlets from the grocery store. I think next time I’ll just buy chicken breasts and butterfly and pound them out myself. The store-bought cutlets were uneven, which messed with their cooking time. Plus, they weren’t as thin as I like them.
2) Mix the egg with a splash of water in a shallow bowl.
3) Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs. Next time I’ll grate some Parmigiano-Reggiano into the crumbs (I had a block in the fridge and I completely forgot to add it, don’t ask me why). I’ll also add some dried rosemary to the crumb mixture.
I double-breaded the chicken (meaning I dipped it in the egg, breaded, then dipped it in the egg and breaded again) for a crispier crust. The lone egg was just barely enough for my two large and two small cutlets, but if you have four large cutlets, you’ll probably need 2 eggs.
4) Heat a layer of olive oil in a skillet and place the breaded cutlets in the oil. I had a really hard time figuring out how much oil was necessary and how hot the oil should be. I had the most success with a thin coat of the skillet and a medium-high heat. I think if the cutlets were thinner and more even, it would have been easier.
Sammi Sweetheart may not miss The Situation’s chicken cutlets, but she’s definitely missing out on these!
For the brussels sprouts:
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, washed and halved
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 pieces bacon
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (I used 1/4 cup Chardonnay + 1/4 cup water)
1) Mince the garlic and brown it in one tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
2) Place the bacon in the skillet and let them crisp up. I was too busy dredging flour on my cutlets to realize that my bacon burned slightly, but there’s no such thing as bad bacon.
When they’re crisp, set them aside on a napkin to drain. After the pieces have cooled, dice them.
3) Place the sprouts cut side down in the skillet until they’ve browned slightly. Then add the sugar and if you’re following Paula’s recipe, chicken stock. I didn’t want to buy chicken stock, so I added water and Chardonnay. The oaky, slightly fruity wine worked really well with the smoky bacon and earthy sprouts.
4) Let the sprouts cook in the liquid for a few minutes, then add the garlic and the bacon. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Paula says you’re done after this step, but I put the sprouts back on a high heat for a few minutes to really get a char on it. I love when my brussels sprouts are a little black.
The next time I decide to make two different things at the same time, I’ll try to have only one of them be on the burners at a time. It was a little difficult for me to go from one skillet to the other without burning anything (it’s a good thing I like my brussels sprouts a little burnt). I can’t wait until I get better at multi-tasking in the kitchen …