Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Simple, Sauteed & Saucy

Good evening everyone! We're changing things up a little bit from our original schedule. Maggie was slated to be cooking tonight, but my work schedule is more conducive to me cooking tonight sooo - here I am! Back in my usual Tuesday cooking spot. It's good to be home! Tonight, I'm returning to one of my favorite cooking aides - the fantastic cookbook from the amazing folks at America's Test Kitchen. I have yet to cook up a dish from this book that has been anything less than astounding and delicious. With a return to my favorite cookbook, I'm also returning to my favorite dish - chicken cutlets with a pan sauce. While simple in premise, chicken cutlets with pan sauce are probably the most diversified dish you can create. The options are wide open and really allow you to get creative with the flavors. Let's get started on tonight's dish:

The Recipe: Sauteed Chicken Cutlets
Original Recipe Found In: The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show With Product Ratings and a Look Behind the Scenes, 2001-2011

What You'll Need:

2-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed of Fat
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Shallot (Minced)
1 1/4 Cups Apple Cider
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Whole Grain Mustard
2 Teaspoons Minced Parsley
2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

Begin by preheating your oven to 200 degrees and adjusting the oven rack to the middle position.

Cover your chicken breasts with a square of plastic wrap and beat the living daylights pound them with a meat tenderizer until they reach 1/4 inch of thickness. Depending on the thickness of the chicken breast, you may find it easier to slice the breast in half before tenderizing. Here's a free tip - to make slicing the breast a little easier, place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before cutting. It will firm up - but it won't freeze, allow you to maneuver the knife through the breast much easier.

In a 12 inch non stick skillet, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable and heat over medium high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Place your cutlets into the skillet and cook (undisturbed) until they are golden brown. This should take about 4 to 8 minutes. (The thinner the cutlet, the faster the cook time). Next, flip the cutlet and cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. I've found that this usually takes closer to 8 minutes on the second side. Place the cutlets on an oven safe plate and into the 200 degree oven to keep warm.

Now you can begin making the pan sauce. In the same skillet you cooked the cutlets in - add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the shallots. Keep the skillet off of the heat and allow the residual heat from the skillet to soften the shallots. This should take about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Return the skillet to medium high heat and add the cider and the vinegar. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Be sure to use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet, the residual browning from the chicken will add a great flavor to the pan sauce, so you don't want to leave those tasty little baked on bits behind. Simmer the mixture until it reduces to about 1/2 a cup of liquid - roughly 6 to 8 minutes.

Off of the heat, stir in the mustard and parsley. Next, whisk the butter into the sauce, one tablespoon at a time, until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over the chicken cutlets. Enjoy!

The Results:

Delicious. We always say, sometimes the best dishes are the simple dishes. This is one of those dishes. A quick pan fry to create a beautifully cooked and golden brown cutlet. Juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, the method of frying up these cutlets is simply foolproof. Perfect cutlets combined with one of the most simple flavored sauces creates a very straightforward yet amazing deep flavor profile for this dish. It tastes like it should be on a menu, and you can cook it up (easily) yourself in about 20 minutes. Give this one a try ASAP!

That's all we have for you tonight. Tomorrow we'll be sharing a 'quick hit' recipe. We have a great smoothie recipe that is not only full of flavor, but contains very little sugar (you'll see just how little tomorrow) and yet is sweet and full of fruit! Be sure to stop back tomorrow night to see our smoothie recipe. Until then,


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