We're always asking SPC readers what they want us to develop, recipe-wise. And we love hearing about what you're trying to get your kids to try and what your challenges are. Of course there's always a range of feedback but the same kinds of things also come up again and again. Fast dinners and meals that picky eaters will try. I hear you on both counts.
This recipe delivers on both counts. At least I think it does — I'll wait to hear back from you on whether I'm right! Now, I can hear you already saying, "My kid won't touch tomatoes, let alone arugula, you lunatic." But listen, this chicken is a perfect foil for whatever your kids will eat — serve with some steamed broccoli, make an easy avocado salsa, cut it into strips so it looks like plain old chicken fingers. Do what you've got to do. The chicken itself is crazy good — crispy, lemony goodness. And if you do have kids that are willing to try something new, these roasted cherry tomatoes are amazing! It's such an easy little addition — you could make a double batch on the weekends and use it this way one night, in a pasta sauce the next. This dinner is a nostalgic one for me. You really can order it in almost any restaurant in Milan and my fashion show husband (David Graham!) and I used to have it after a long day of taxi-ing around Milan for the Prada, Marni, Dolce et Gabbana shows. Who knew that fashion editors and kids would love the same meals? Actually, they have so much more in common than a taste for chicken dinners. But that's a post for another day…
photos by Maya Visnyei
2 chicken breasts
1 cup panko
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 Tbsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste — remember Parm is quite salty already
1 or 2 Tbsp olive oil
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove sliced
1 glug of olive oil
1 small glug of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place the tomatoes and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, add a little S & P. Give everything a quick toss then pop in a hot oven for about 15 or 20 minutes until the tomatoes are beginning to collapse. Remove from the oven and set aside.
With a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts in half so you end up with four thin cutlets. Place them on your work surface between two sheets of cling film. Take out your rolling pin or meat mallet and pound away until the cutlets are even thinner. You want them as thin as you can make them without creating holes in the meat. I don't know, say 1/4 inch thick? This would be a fun task to give to a kid to do but then you would be robbed of the stress relieving pleasure of bashing away at something. Or is that just me?
Okay, now set up your work station. You want a shallow bowl for your whisked eggs. You want a plate for the panko, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and salt and pepper to get tossed together and then spread out evenly. And you'll need a clean plate to put your finished cutlets on. So, just dip each piece of chicken into the egg, then press them on each side in the panko/Parm mixture and place on the clean plate. And repeat and repeat and repeat. As you work, the panko/Parm mixture will get a bit moist so you'll want to toss it around a bit between each piece of chicken.
Pour a little olive oil in a skillet and bring it to medium heat. You don't want to over crowd the pan, so you may have to work in two batches. Place the chicken in the hot oil and cook on each side until they're golden brown and crispy. These cutlets are too thin to use a meat thermometer so you may want to cut into one piece to be sure you've cooked all the way through. (I'm paranoid and always check!) They won't take long to cook as they're so thin — maybe 3 or 4 minutes a side? Place your cooked chicken on ANOTHER clean plate — do not use the same one that had the raw chicken and cover with foil or a tea towel while you cook the next batch.
Serve with a handful of fresh arugula and a heaping spoonful of the roasted cherry tomatoes. Or do that for the adults and slice the chicken into strips for the kids. Yes, yes, yes, we should all be eating the same dinner, but sometimes you need to get through dinner time without a fight, know what I mean? I knew you did.