Wow, summer flew by, and fall is here, just like *that*!
Today's recipe is a quick elegant dinner that works great for a weeknight dinner or even a make-ahead dinner party with friends.
You can prepare the chicken up to a a day in advance. To prepare the chicken, you would butterfly a chicken breast, pound it out, and then dip it in flour, egg white mixture, and bread crumbs. Pounding the chicken makes it much more tender. The egg white mixture will contain egg white along with some herbs and Dijon mustard. Once you coat the chicken, it needs to be chilled so that the topping will set. The longer you refrigerate, the more the topping sticks to the chicken, and the more the mustard and herb flavors marinate into the chicken. You could do this the day before a dinner party and minimize your prep time the next day!
When it comes time to cook the chicken, you just fry the chicken in some oil, pat it dry with paper towels, and stick it in the oven to keep it warm. Think of this as a much easier way to make fried chicken at home. The thin chicken stayed very juicy and moist, and the breading made it even more flavorful. It felt more "dressed up" with the French Dijon mustard, too.
Serve this chicken with a simple arugula salad, and you're all set.
Chicken Mustard Milanese with an Arugula Salad
Yields 2 servings
For the chicken:
1 large boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup (33 grams) all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 tbsp. smooth Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3/4 cup (40 grams) panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grapeseed oil, canola oil, or other oil for frying
For the salad:
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 cup olive oil
3 oz. arugula leaves
Using a very sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breast on a cutting board with a very sharp knife. Slice the chicken breast all the way through so that you end up with two cutlets. Using a meat pounder, pound the cutlets out between two pieces of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thickness. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white, Dijon mustard, oregano, parsley, and lemon zest.
On your counter, set up three large plates. On the first plate, add the flour. On the second plate, add the egg white mixture. On the third plate, spread out the breadcrumbs.
Pat both sides of the chicken lightly in the flour mixture. Next, dredge both sides of the chicken heavily in the egg white mixture. Then, pat both sides of the chicken heavily with the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the second piece of chicken. Arrange the breaded chicken on a large plate or tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour to 1 day.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 175º. Pour 1/2 inch of oil in a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, cook the chicken until golden on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, and 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Remove the chicken from the heat, and salt and pepper the chicken again on both sides while draining on paper towels. Once it is drained, transfer the chicken to a baking tray and insert it in the warm oven. Repeat with remaining chicken.
For the salad dressing, whisk the lemon juice, mustards, and olive oil together in a large bowl. Add the arugula to the bowl and toss. When ready to serve, plate the salad and add the chicken.