8.14.15 Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Fennel Salad
I know, I know, we already talked this week about how awesome the tomato situation is right now. But the fact is, these tomatoes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and thank goodness for that. As a result, I find myself cooking up wonderful, tomato-centric dishes on a fairly regular basis these days. Things like this tomato and fennel salad, which as it turns out is the perfect accompaniment to some super crispy chicken.
On the list of my current pregnancy related food cravings, fried chicken ranks pretty high (along with ice cream, blueberries, yogurt, cheese in pretty much any form, and V8 juice). However, as I’m sure you know if you’ve ever tried making your own, it’s rarely worth the trouble. True fried chicken, in my mind, is best left to professionals (although I keep trying to prove myself wrong on this).
Nonetheless, these breaded and pan-fried cutlets are a perfect alternative in my mind. Easy enough to put together and fry up, and of course, wonderfully satisfying. So while it may not be Harold’s, it still does a wonderful job of satisfying my cravings, and with the added bonus of not having to drive anywhere to get some. Also, try eating regular fried chicken with tomato salad - it’s nowhere near as good as this.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Fennel Salad
Okay, you might end up with some extra tomato salad, but that’s hardly a problem. I’m sure you’ll find a use for it ( may I recommend topping a piece of warm naan with a slather of greek yogurt?). For an extra lovely presentation, I recommend using a variety of colors and sizes of tomatoes.
- 1 lb tomatoes, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup very thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1 Tbsp thinly sliced shallot
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (such as fennel greens, basil, parsley, or carrot greens, or a mix)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 ¼-⅓ lb chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup oil for frying
- lemon wedges for serving
1. First, make the salad: Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl, and mix them together. Set aside for flavors to develop while you make the chicken.
2. Place chicken breasts in a heavy duty freezer bag, lay the bag on the counter, and use a large rolling pin to pound them to approximately ¼ inch in thickness (if you can’t get them that thin, it’s okay, your cutlets will just take a bit longer to cook).
3. Place the flour in a shallow dish or bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and hot sauce until smooth. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish or bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season the chicken cutlets liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
4. Take one chicken cutlet and dredge it in the flour until fully coated. Dip into the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs, making sure that it gets fully coated with crumbs. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cutlet.
5. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat and once heated, place the cutlets in the pan and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides (about 2-4 minutes per side). Once cooked, transfer cutlets to a plate lined with paper towels to sop up any excess grease.
7. Serve the cutlets hot, topped with copious amounts of tomato fennel salad, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.