While off at college, I spent lots of fun times cooking but also lots and lots of times dreading cooking. I spent my first year in a sleep-study dorm, and then moved into a duplex with three other girls. The next year it was down to two other girls, and then my final year it was just me and one roommate. Needless to say, some of the glamor of getting to choose my own menu each day lost its sparkle.
However! During those years of running my own kitchen (and with the assistance of fabulous roommates who helped me figure out that whole salt and pepper thing – aside from scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes cuz Daddy learned me good on those), I got lots of opportunities to experiment with food. Some of these were the most miiiiiserable failures (aka fried gnocci) and some were mind-blowingly delicious (leftover crepe filling and berries on warm chocolate cake or Jes’ brilliant chicken and dumplings that once perished quite tragically thanks to silly boys who don’t clean their stove). It was pretty easy to judge the success of a recipe in my life: it got made once, or once-a-month.
This was a once-a-month-or-more recipe. It actually originated from a delicious restaurant-style chicken Parmesan that also works with pork.
Anyways…here’s how it goes:
Take thawed chicken, as much as you think you’ll need. For my roommate and I we usually cut up one large breast or two small ones. As you can see from the pics, feeding the whole dozen takes much more! Chop these into the size pieces you want. Some people like strips, some medallions or chunks. I find strips fry up the fastest. [Note: if you want to make this over into Parmesan chicken, you should flatten the breast to about ½ - ¾ inch rather than cutting into pieces.]
Then, you will need to have three dredging bowls set up. In the first you put flour mixed with salt and pepper. In the second you place egg and a small amount of water. For the one breast recipe, one medium egg and a dash of water whisked together was enough. For larger batches, guess large cuz you’ll probably have to mix up more anyways. The third bowl is filled with basic bread-crumbs and LOTS of Italian seasoning. You can also add the dried Parmesan cheese. [Note: If doing Parmesan chicken, it's better to place bread crumbs on a deep-edged plate so you’re not trying to shove a goopy, drippy piece of meat into breadcrumbs that won’t stick so well under that much pressure. Use a plate. It works.]
Chicken gets dipped in the bowls in order: 1, 2, 3. Then, place it somewhere out of the way as you wait for your oil to heat.
Remove the chicken from the oil and let it drain for a minute. Serve it up with French fries or some of that super delicious herb-and-butter Rice-a-Roni.
[For those of you wanting to sauce it up, layer your crispy, thin breasts in a 9" by 13" and then smother with mozzarella cheese or fresh Parmesan. Carefully add your favorite spaghetti sauce and douse with more cheese. Slip it in the oven (350* for 15-20 minutes) to let it get all warm and bubbly. Then serve on a fresh bed of pasta. Mmmmmmm…]
That, dear blog world, is how we feed a happy Drama Queen.