Mustard Milanese With An Arugula Fennel Salad

Mustard MilaneseSERVES 4

For the Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons (45 grams) smooth Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1⁄2 cups (80 grams) coarse, lightweight breadcrumbs, such as panko (see cooking note)
Mix of vegetable and olive oil, for frying

For the Salad
3 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) whole-seed or coarse Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1⁄4 cup (80 ml) olive oil
5 ounces (140 grams) baby arugula leaves
Small fennel bulb (5 ounces or 140 grams)

DIRECTIONS

[1]  On a cutting board with a very sharp knife, butterfly your chicken breasts, and slice them all the way through, so that you end up with four thin cutlets. With a meat pounder (not a tenderizer), pound your cutlets out between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

[2]  Grab three big plates, and line them up on your counter. Pour the flour into the first one. In a small dish, whisk together the egg white, smooth Dijon, garlic, oregano, and lemon zest. Pour half of this mixture into the bottom of the second plate. In the third plate, spread out the breadcrumbs. Dredge each piece of chicken lightly in flour, then heavily in the egg-white– mustard mixture, and generously in the breadcrumbs.

[3]  Repeat with second piece of chicken, then refill egg-white–mustard plate, and repeat with final two pieces of chicken. Arrange the breaded cutlets on a large tray, and chill them in the fridge for 1 hour, or up to 1 day (covered with plastic wrap). This helps the coating set.

[4]  Preheat your oven to 175 degrees.

[5]  Pour 1⁄2 inch of oil—use a mixture of olive and vege- table oil, or the frying oil of your choice—in a large pan, and heat over medium-high heat. Test the heat with a flick of water—if it hisses, you’re good to go. Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on the first and 2 to 3 minutes on the second. Remove the chicken from heat, and salt and pepper on both sides while draining on paper towels. Once it’s drained, transfer the chicken to a tray to keep in the warm oven. Repeat with additional oil and remaining pieces of chicken.

[6]  In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and mustards together, then whisk in olive oil in a thin stream. Pour three-quarters of this into a large bowl. Add arugula to bowl. Thinly shave your fennel bulb on a mandoline, or cut it as thinly as you can with a sharp knife, and add this to the arugula.

[7]  When you’re ready to serve it, toss the salad. Arrange one piece of chicken from the warm oven on a plate. Drizzle a few drops of the reserved salad dressing directly onto the chicken (you’ll thank me when you try it), and pile the salad on top. Season with salt and pepper, and eat immediately.

Cooking Note

Can’t find panko breadcrumbs? Here’s how I fake it when I run out:

[1]  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

[2]  Tear one or two slices of soft, crustless white bread into 1-inch pieces, and pulse them in the food processor until they are coarsely ground. This will make a generous 1⁄2 cup.

[3]  Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet, and bake them until they are golden brown and dry, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool the breadcrumbs before using them.

Excerpted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  Copyright © 2012 Deb Perelman.  Published by Appetite by Random House, which is a division of Random House of Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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