I love working with chicken because it is like a blank canvas, it takes on the flavors of the seasonings since it does not have a strong distinct flavor of its own. The other day I was inspired to make breaded chicken cutlets with vegetables ala Italian. Like a lot of good things you can cook to feed the family this is not complicated to make and I have included some tips that will make you a super star in the kitchen.
As I always do when cooking vegetables try to use up everything I have in the fridge. In this case I only had to by two small yellow crooked neck squash. You can use anything you want. I chopped up a Red Bell Pepper, a Green Bell Pepper, minced two cloves garlic, sliced up a red onion, two yellow squash and cut some pitted black olives in half. I like black olives in my Italian creations.
In a 12” pan I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter and some olive oil and added the veggies all at one time. I used a medium heat, I rarely cook anything on more than a medium heat. I sprinkled the veggies with dried Italian Herbs and added salt and pepper to taste. I cooked until the squash were al dente, that is that they still had some bite to them.
I love vegetables and it just doesn’t get any better than this. If you want you can sprinkle with Parmesan or Romano cheese. I covered the veggies with foil to keep warm while I finished working on the chicken.
I preheated the oven to 375 deg.
Before I started with the veggies I cut skinless, boneless chicken breast in half, thickness wise. I covered them with plastic wrap and with a mallet; I flatten them out a bit but not too much. I added salt and pepper to both sides and let them sit. The way I cut them I had two larger pieces and two smaller pieces – lunch and dinner. (I trimmed them up a bit and gave the trimming to our cat Samantha).
TIP: It avoid cross contamination I have thin plastic sheets that I use just for chicken and turkey. You should not place raw chicken or turkey on your main cutting board without washing the board completely right after you are done working with the chicken. You should wash your knives and hands when you are done working with the chicken as well.
In a pie tin I added two eggs and beat them until the whites and yokes were blended. In another tin I added plain bread crumbs with dry Italian Herbs, salt, pepper and chopped Italian flat leaf parsley.
TIP: When you are ready to coat your chicken always dry them off with paper towels. If they are wet the water will turn to steam in the pan and will cause the breading to separate from the meat.
TIP: Before you dip the chicken into the egg wash you should lightly sprinkle both sides with flour. Shake off any excess. This defiantly helps the egg wash stick to the cutlets. I used a fine sieve to lightly dust the cutlets.
In a 12” pan, I melted three tablespoons of butter with some olive oil. Under medium heat I waited until the oil was hot then I added the chicken. I cooked them until they were golden on each side. I was not too worried about the temp of the chicken in the middle at this stage because I am going to finish them off in the oven.
I placed the chicken on a rack in a rimmed baking pan. I covered with equal and generous amounts of grated Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses. I put them in the oven for almost 20 min. until the cheese was melted.
TIP: Poultry must be cooked to a minimum of 165 deg. F. I use an instant read thermometer to be sure chicken is cooked thoroughly.
As they say, the rest is history. I warmed the veggies up a bit put them on a plate along with the chicken. covered with Prego Traditional Marinara Sauce and garnished with Italian Parsley. You could add more cheese on top if you want, I added crushed red pepper to mine, not to Vera’s. (Vera mentioned that she like the meal and really like the sauce. I had to fess up that it was Prego and I got it because it was on sale at Kroger’s. Bottom line is that she liked best what I did not cook!)
This didn’t take even an hour to prepare once I had everything on hand. It was a nice easy dish to make. I am on a low carb diet otherwise I would have added some pasta to the dish but you can go for it.