Serves:2 to 4 |
Prep Time:15 minutes |
Cook Time:5 minutes
Indian Summer hit San Francisco this weekend—finally. I love that hot days/cold nights contrast. This dish has the same feel: warm, crisp chicken over cool, crunchy salad. It’s quick, easy, and darn stylish and great as a sexy dinner for two, but you can make it for your family if that’s not what your Indian Summer is all about!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups arugula and/or other mixed greens, as desired
1 head fennel, optional
Remove chicken tenders from back of breasts and set aside. Place a breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (or inside a clean plastic produce bag) and pound it with a mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a pot until about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a plate then flatten the other breast. On another plate, toss the breadcrumbs, oregano, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grindings of pepper. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg well with a fork. Line up the chicken, egg, and breadcrumbs alongside the stove.
Pour enough oil into a large nonstick frying pan to coat the bottom thickly (about 1/3 cup) and warm over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not quite smoking, dip chicken breasts and tenders one at a time in egg and then in breadcrumbs to coat (shaking off excess), then place in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom (2 to 3 minutes), then turn over and cook until golden brown on the other side and no longer pink in the middle (2 to 3 minutes more), adjusting heat as necessary to keep breadcrumbs from burning. Transfer cooked chicken to warmed plate and keep warm in a low oven if necessary.
While the chicken cooks, put arugula and/or mixed greens in a salad bowl. If using fennel, core and slice it as thinly as possible (preferably on a mandolin) and add to arugula. Squeeze lemon juice over salad, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt, then drizzle in olive oil to taste (about 3 tablespoons). Toss and place a pile of greens on each plate; top with chicken.
note: chicken breasts vary widely in size and if you buy larger ones and pound them, they can easily be cut in half to serve two each, especially if kids are involved. Or you can simply double this whole recipe for 4 portions.