This week, we were really on a cooking roll at The Frog & PenguINN. It started last Sunday when Grenville prepared a delicious dinner featuring Turkish Braised Lamb Shanks. We’re been trying recipes from our subscription to Cook’s Illustrated. This small bi-monthly magazine, while costlier and smaller than some magazines at $5.95 USD and under 50 pages, features lengthy explanations with each recipe explaining the methods tried and what did (and didn’t) work best. You won’t find advertisements or color photos in these issues, but you will find very detailed and interesting articles, cooking tips and techniques, and interesting reading, especially if you enjoy cooking as much as we do.
Chicken dishes are featured quite often, which is fine with us. This one was deemed a “keeper” by the F&P’s resident taste tester, Grenville.
Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets
According to Cook’s, the recipe works best with almonds, but you can substitute any type of nut. We have lots of shelled pecans from our fall harvest, so that’s always our “nut of choice.”
Also, the original recipe below called for using 4 cutlets and we halved it using only 2
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
- Kosher salt
- 1 C roughly chopped almonds (or other nut)
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 C panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves (or ½ tsp dried)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 pie plates or shallow dishes
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°.
Poke thickest half of each breast 5-6 times with a fork, Sprinkle evenly with ½ tsp kosher salt (or ¼ tsp table salt). Refrigerate while preparing coating.
Process nuts in food processor until they resemble coarse meal.
- Heat butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook 4-5 minutes, swirling pan constantly, until butter turns golden brown.
- Add shallot (or onion) and ½ tsp kosher salt (or ¼ tsp table salt). Cook stirring constantly until just starting to brown (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low, add panko and ground nuts. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown.
- Transfer panko mixture to pie plate and stir in lemon zest, thyme and cayenne pepper.
- Lightly beat eggs, mustard, and black pepper together in second pie plate. Put flour in third plate.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Dredge chicken breast in flour (one at a time), shaking off excess, coat with egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Coat all sides of chicken with panko mixture, pressing gently so crumbs stick.
- Transfer breaded chicken to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until thermometer registers 160°.