Friday, February 5, 2010

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Paillards

Serves four

‘Paillards’ is just a fancy word for cutlet. But don’t let it fool you. This preparation is hardly fancy at all. Super simple, really.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders removed
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1 1/2 cups flour
3 large eggs
2 Tbl water
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbl butter
4 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbl vegetable or canola oil

Spread a sheet of plastic wrap over a cutting board or counter top. Place a chicken breast on top and then cover the chicken with another sheet of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken into an even quarter inch thickness. Follow same procedure for the other three chicken breasts.

Assemble a breading station assembly line: In one medium-sized container, place the flour. Add the eggs and water to a second container and whisk to combine. In a third container, add the bread crumbs & grated Parmesan and mix to combine.

Pat dry a chicken breast with paper towels. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breast into the first container and coat both sides thoroughly with flour. Shake off excess flour. Move the breast to the second container and coat both sides thoroughly with egg mixture. Shake off excess egg. Place the breast in the third container and coat both sides thoroughly with breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture. Shake off excess crumbs. Place the breaded chicken breast on a wire cooling rack placed over a sheet pan. Follow same procedure for the other three chicken breasts. All of this can be done earlier in the day, and the breaded chicken kept in the refrigerator until ready for cooking.

Add the butter, olive oil and vegetable oil to a large straight-sided pan. Heat over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Test the temperature of the cooking oil mixture by dropping in a single bread crumb. If ii sizzles violently and burns right away, it’s too hot. If it doesn’t sizzle at all, it’s not hot enough. You want a medium sizzle. When your cooking oil is just about right, slowly lower two chicken breasts into the hot oil. Cook the first side until golden and crisp, about two-three minutes. Flip using a metal spatula, and cook until the opposite side is golden and crispy as well, about two-three minutes. Remove to a clean wire cooling rack placed over a sheet pan, and continue with the other two chicken breasts. Serve hot.




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