Wednesday, January 14, 2009
This recipe is one of my favorite ways to serve chicken to my family. It isn't the most low-fat way, but it is one of our favorites. I think it is because it is so tender because it is pounded thin. And flavorful because of all the seasoning on it.
When you get your chicken for $1.49 a pound, it is also very cheap! I think my family is a low meat kind of family, it only takes two large chicken breasts to feed us (and we had leftovers for lunch tomorrow!). But even if you need more, if you can get them cheap, it isn't to expensive. Then if you serve it with Crashed Potatoes and some steamed veggies, it is a really cheap meal.
Here's how you do it:
First take you chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, please!). Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of waxed paper (back when I was really, really frugal, I would save the bags from inside the cereal boxes and use those for waxed paper in this recipe). Then pound it with something heavy and hard. I use my wooden rolling pin:Smash it pretty good, don't be afraid of hurting its feelings or anything. Really mush it flat. When you get done it will look like this compared to its un-mushed counterpart:
Then you are going to want to do the other one, too. When they are done, cut them into serving size pieces. I cut them into, more or less, three pieces each. Then I bread them. To bread them you will need three things:
a bowl of seasoned flour (stir salt and pepper into plain white flour), a bowl of milk, and a bowl of seasoned breadcrumbs. I use plain breadcrumbs and then stir in basil, garlic powder, salt, oregano, pepper and whatever else sounds good. Sometimes I add parmesan cheese. I usually make my own breadcrumbs. I save the ends of the bread, and that last piece that is threatening to go bad. I pop them in the freezer and when I have enough I place them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes of so (turning once) until they are really dry and hard. Then I put them into the food processor until it is breadcrumbs. I use 100% whole wheat bread so my breadcrumbs are "healthy." Yeah, right.
First dip a piece into the flour, then the milk then the breadcrumbs. Pat those breadcrumbs on there good - you want them to stay there while you are frying them. When you have them all done, put them in a pan with some hot oil in it.
Olive oil is good for this but, let's face it, it is expensive. You can use canola oil or vegetable oil with good results. Just make sure the oil is hot before you add the chicken or it will get really greasy.
When they are brown underneath, turn them over and let them brown on the other side. As they get done (check to make sure they are cooked all the way through, but they should be because they are really thin), remove them and keep them warm until the all the pieces are done.
That's it! Sometimes I serve this with gravy over mashed potatoes, sometimes with sauted peppers and onions, and sometimes (like last night), with Crashed Potatoes on the side.
If you have cheap chicken in the freezer, a good, satisfying, cheap meal is always handy!