This is by far my favorite summer chicken dish. I’m just throwing that out there right now.
I have a feeling you’re not surprised. Let me just say that there is an art to pan searing chicken cutlets and when they reach that perfect balance between crispy exterior and tender interior with just the right juice? Oh, baby. It’s like melt-in-your-mouth poultry.
Unfortunately, my dad didn’t start dicing those tomatoes and scallions until I was already halfway out the door, my life packed into boxes for a four-year undergraduate degree.
It’s called Chicken Cutlets with Fresh Diced Tomatoes. Because honestly, you want to know what you’re putting in your mouth. There’s a reason Mystery Meat doesn’t get too many takers.
Chicken Cutlets with Fresh Diced Tomatoes (or Chicken with Relish)
4 medium tomatoes, diced to pea-sized cubes
1 medium stalk of celery, finely sliced
4 scallions (green onions), finely sliced
10 large fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. chicken cutlets, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch of salt & pepper mix (3:1 ratio)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs mixed with freshly-grated parmesan (parmigiana) cheese
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1. Dip the chicken cutlets into the eggs and coat well with the bread crumb-parmigiana mixture. Lightly press the crumbs onto the meat with the palm of your hands. Place the cutlets on a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes, so that the coating will settle and dry and will remain attached to the meat during cooking.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium high heat.
3. When the butter foams, add the cutlets without crowding the skillet. Cook in two batches if necessary.
4. Cook until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.
5. Put the cutlets on a paper towels and pat dry to remove excess fat.
6. In a medium-size bowl, combine all the ingredients for the tomato relish and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
7. Place the cutlet on individual serving dishes, top with a few tablespoons of the tomato mixture and serve.