23 September 2009

chicken cutlets with pomegranate pan sauce

chicken cutlets

Chicken breasts have a tendency to be dry, and I have a tendency to avoid them. I mean, who can't resist a mouthful of sawdust!

With chicken cutlets you avoid this problem by pounding the chicken breasts to about a 1/4-1/2 inch. How does this prevent them from drying out whilst cooking? Pan-searing over a fairly high heat allows the outside to cook quickly, as well as crispifying the flour coating, while keeping the inside slightly unfinished. By placing the cutlets on a baking sheet in an oven heated to 200°, I've found that the heat slowly cooks the entire thing. I used to tent the sheet with a piece of foil, but found that by doing so the coating on the chicken lost its crispness and became soggy.

frying the cutlets

To cook the cutlets, place in a pan on medium-high with both olive oil and butter. Once heated, you sear the cutlets on either side for about 3 minutes before removing to a baking sheet.

Finally, I've used my last bottle of POM 100% pomegranate juice in this sauce. Actually, my brother requested a pomegranate pasta sauce, and either I lacked the creative juices to actually figure one out or I'm just lazy, I ended up with a version of chicken picatta. He thanked me for partially fulfilling his request.

The sauce features the POM juice, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper, capers, and fresh parsley. Very flavorful, and everyone had nothing about good things to say to my face. No, really, the family enjoyed it. If anything can be said against this meal was that it didn't really have any vegetables, but that's not a big deal since it's just one meal.

While this may seem complicated, it's actually a super easy meal that anyone can learn. It's also one of those meals that seems impressive, yet it's a snap to prepare. You can prep the chicken the day before and take it out 15 minutes prior to cooking to speed things up, and the sauce doesn't take very long to cook, either. Anyone can learn how to do this, so give it a go1

chicken cutlet with pomegranate sauce and spaghetti
close up

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chicken cutlets with pomegranate pan sauce
Recipe by me, adapted from different recipes

ingredients ~
6 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 8 oz. bottle of POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Spaghetti to serve with chicken

directions ~
  1. Preheat oven to 200°. Between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound a chicken breast to about 1/2 an inch thick; repeat with each piece. Put cutlets, still between the plastic wrap, onto a plate. Mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt, a few shakes of pepper, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a shallow dish.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and a tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, as you remove the top sheet of plastic wrap from a cutlet, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and put seasoned-side down in the flour mixture; sprinkle the side facing up with a bit more salt and pepper. Dredge the cutlet thoroughly, but shake off any excess flour.

  3. After you bread a cutlet, place in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on either side, two at a time. Transfer to a baking sheet and stick the sheet in the oven to keep warm. Add a drizzle more olive oil and a small pat of butter to skillet and, once the oil sizzles, continue cooking until all cutlets are in the oven.

  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add a tablespoon olive oil and butter. Once melted, add garlic and saute for 1 minute; keep moving to prevent browning. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, then whisk in lemon juice, capers, and spicy brown mustard. Pour in POM juice and scrape up the fond from the bottom of the pan. Turn heat up to medium-high, bring to a boil, and cook down for about 10 minutes, lowering the heat if the sauce bubbles too ferociously.

  5. Check for seasonings. Whisk in two tablespoons butter until emulsified with sauce; whisk in a few tablespoons of the fresh parsley.

  6. Place a chicken cutlet on a plate either on or next to spaghetti, drizzle with the pan sauce, and top with parsley.


1 comment

  1. Looks great!

    I should try to make that POM sauce. For some reason, whenever I try to make a reduction, it comes out watery :(

    Brining the chicken also makes it very moist! I am deathly afraid of dry chicken myself. haha.


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