Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Two Mistake Chicken

The other night I made spicy chicken milanesas. J is from Argentina, where milanesa, primarily beef or veal, is extremely popular. Milanesa is thin, flat meat breaded and fried, sometimes with a sauce. Because of diet, finance, and what I found lurking around the fridge, we used chicken. And to make it even a little less authentic, instead of a flour/egg treatment before the breading, I marinated it in buttermilk and Sriracha (see yesterday’s entry!). And I served it with hot sauce!! Sort of a American South meets South America combo.

But I made two big mistakes that I would like to share with the world at large here on the internets.

1.) I did not pound. All recipes say to pound. Buuuut, last time I made this I had some pretty thin cutlets and was yapping on the phone and drinking wine and I completely forgot the pounding step, to no visible detriment. This time, the omission was deliberate. I had chicken breasts and I was feeling lazy, so I just sort of cut them up into strips, without the salmonella spraying pounding step that requires more counter space than I have. (You wonder why my kitchen photos all look the same? Because you’re seeing my entire kitchen.)

2.) Big bread crumbs. I used Whole Foods panko style. They were big and clumpy and fell off. They augmented the problem of non-pounding by cooking before the inside was anywhere near done. This negated the salmonella avoidance achieved by not pounding.

Nevertheless, it was not a total disaster, and we certainly didn't starve.

And a closeup...

The recipe is quite simple - trim, halve and POUND your chicken breasts. Put then in a nice buttermilk bath with a few tablespoons of hot sauce and some black pepper for at least 1/2 hour. Remove from bath, let excess drip off, coat in seasoned (non-panko) breadcrumbs. Put a few tablespoons of oil in a big frying pan on medium high (hot but not smoky) and cook the chicken for a few minutes on each side, untill it is cooked through. I always have to slice into one to check. Serve with hot sauce on the side.


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