this happened: chicken french
Another mid-holiday report because I have so much food goss to fill you in on! First of all, have you made this chocolate beauty? I had seen it in Turshen’s new cookbook (I’m a super fan) and at the last minute decided to go with the higher amount of sugar between the two. I chose wrong! It was too sweet for me. Next time I make it I’ll go with the amount listed in Now and Again.
But let’s back up. Before I went full holiday mode earlier this week, I tried my hand at what NYT Cooking reported to be its most popular recipe of 2018. The first time I made it was for good friend and her bew who had come over for dinner. Typically I don’t like to try a recipe for the first time when I’m having someone over, but honestly if you don’t like fried chicken cutlets in a lemon butter pan sauce then please GTFOH. I mean, right? Anyway, they loved it, because it was fried chicken doused with lemon butter durrrrr.
This third culture kid* of the recipe world is so charming, with a well-developed schmaltzy flavor and plenty of brightness from the lemon. I made it again a few days after our dinner party on a night when I worked late and had absolutely no business cooking, but was blindly committed to double-checking the tweaks I had made to the (needlessly finnicky) NYT Cooking version. It was just as good as the first time if not better, and the tweaks remained on point. I can’t recall a time I’ve been more excited to eat dinner at 11pm.
On that note I will say that, yes, these photos were taken and edited close to midnight on a weeknight when I should have been at least attempting to sleep. They are not perfect and they never tried to be. But even in the year of our Lordess 2018 (and 2019 for that matter), done is still better than perfect. So please and thank you for being sweet and bearing with me as I attempt to find a way to pay my bills and share my favorite recipes and life tidbits at the same time in this season of such little sunlight.
I’ll be finishing up the year with another easy holiday party appetizer, but I hope you’ll tuck this in your back pocket for once you’ve gotten your fill of stuffing and gravy. I know it’s slightly indulgent but it is really scrumptious with riced cauliflower, which makes for a pleasantly light meal overall.
*NYT Cooking says, and lots more googling confirmed, that this recipe originates from Rochester, NY, where it was dreamed up by an Italian cook riffing on french techniques. Regardless of where she claims origin, she most certainly belongs in our kitchens.
An off-the-cuff Chicken French, inspired by the NY Times Most Cooked Recipe for 2018 with assistance from one very helpful comment
Serves 4 generously, 6 daintily
A few lemons
2 tbsp grated parmesan, plus maybe more to finish
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 -1.5 lbs chicken breast, sliced into thin cutlets
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white wine (see note about subbing below)
1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium is tops, imo)
2-4 tbsp heavy cream
something green to garnish
Cut the chicken through horizontally so that it’s half as thick but the same shape (or pound the chicken out and cut the pieces in half).
In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk 2 eggs, 2 tbsp lemon (approx. 1/2 lemon), 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Put 1 cup of flour in a separate shallow bowl.
In a 12-inch skillet heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp butter. Dredge the chicken cutlets in a flour - egg wash - flour rotation and fry in batches over medium heat, 4 mins each side. Remove browned chicken to a plate and continue until all cutlets are nicely browned.
Once all of the chicken has been removed from the pan, add the garlic to the pan and stir for just a minute. You should start to smell it. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up all the yummy bits. Let some of the alcohol cook off, then add the juice of 1.5 lemons plus the remaining broth and let it simmer down for a couple more minutes. [Note: If, for whatever reason, you’re not using wine, deglaze the pan with an equal amount of chicken stock (ie, doubling the total amount of stock) and before you add the rest of the stock, stir in 1 tbsp dijon mustard. It helps replace the non-lemon, acidic kick that you get from the wine.]
Splash in 2 tbsp of the cream, stir it around, and then decide whether to add the rest. Add the chicken and let everything gel for 4 or 5 minutes. The pan sauce will be very liquid-y until it cools, so remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 1 minute to allow the sauce to thicken.
Serve with something delicious to soak up all the pan juices and maybe a squeeze of lemon on top if you like it super lemony (like me).