This quick and easy recipe for chicken comes from a book to warm the hearts of the legions of cooks and diners who love chicken.
Breaded Chicken Cutlets With Chopped Tomatoes and Arugula is one of a tasty variety of chicken recipes in "The Artful Chicken" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95), a new cookbook by Linda Arnaud. She includes some egg recipes, too.
Color photos by Michel Arnaud on nearly every page of the book focus on chicken objects, as well as chicken dishes -- showing an entertaining range of items, many belonging to his wife's collection of ceramics, tableware, textiles and artwork.
The writer explains that her recipe is a variation on a classic Milanese dish of veal cutlets, breaded, fried and topped with chopped tomatoes and greens.
In this version, chicken breasts replace the veal, and are topped with arugula and tomatoes. When you have gathered and prepared your ingredients, cooking takes only a matter of minutes.
Chicken Cutlets With Chopped Tomatoes and Arugula
3 chicken breasts, boned, skinned, halved and pounded into 1/4-inch-thick cutlets (6 pieces)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 to 1 1/3 cups focaccia bread crumbs, or other herbed bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional oil for serving
6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into large dice
3/4 pound arugula, coarsely chopped
White wine vinegar
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
Wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese (optional)
Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour, then dip them into the egg, letting the excess drop off. Coat the pieces thoroughly with the bread crumbs.
Heat half of the oil in a heavy skillet that will hold three cutlets comfortably. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle, add the first batch of cutlets and fry them until the coating is evenly golden brown and the chicken is done, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Adjust the heat as necessary. Set the cutlets aside. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining cutlets.
Arrange the chicken on individual serving plates. Divide the arugula and tomatoes over the cutlets. Pass the olive oil, vinegar, basil and cheese at the table. The dish may be served warm or at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings.
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