Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lucky 13 Recipe I - Caesar's Crispy Chicken with Tomato-Mustard Dressing and Goat Cheese

Caesar's Crispy Chicken -  The secret is in the breading!

Today is my anniversary weekend - no, not for my blog.  That is coming up in December and I thank you for a great three years - more to come on that later!

I am talking about my lucky 13th wedding anniversary. 

Then-  October 28, 1999 -


Now - 

I met the love of my life, Dan, in October of 1999.  Both married before and working on our day job careers, we were married one year later.  

We are what the wedding vows are all about - we've been with each other through great times, good times, health issues and more. 

Yeah, we've both put on some weight.  In the old days, that would mean we are "happy." ;.)
Yes, I was doing the "Ivana" thing with my hair and dress there at the wedding.  13 years later, I'm so much more "relaxed."  

AKA - I am no longer  "high maintenance."

True love isn't about "buying" someone something; if you handle the budget or bills, you're buying yourself something so -- what's the point?  It's about knowing that person inside and out; forgiving their flaws (we all have them), and growing with each other each and every day. It's about mutual dreams and goals -  And I hope to be bringing you this same post 20 years from now. 

I wasn't even a good cook when I first married Dan.  And do you know what his first meal was that he cooked for me?  Frozen Chicken Cordon Bleu with Jalapeño Poppers (meat and veggies).  

In addition to our girth, we've both grown in the culinary arena since we married and are now both great home cooks. So over this next week, I am going to post three new recipes;  first, I am focusing on one of Dan's all time favorites; chicken cutlets.  But these aren't his mama's chicken cutlets (which are fabulous btw) - I'm "Kicking it up a notch" with the Caesar breading and a fresh grape tomato dressing. 

The chicken is super crispy.   You are going to love it!

Next, Dan will make his famous {light} fish and chip recipe with fried pickles - that's for me.  And finally, I'll be making our romantic anniversary meal - Roasted Greek Lamb Shank.  

Caution:  We might deviate a little from being totally healthy here as it's a "celebration of life," but as I often say, "When you mess up, just eat less the next day!" 

So here we go with the first recipe:

Serves 2 -4, depending on how hungry you are!

1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove microwave dried garlic, crushed
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. seafood seasoning
1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs with Romano cheese
1.25 lb. chicken cutlets


1/4 cup quartered grape tomatoes, quartered
1 tbs. grainy mustard
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
tbs. olive oil
Fresh chopped parsley and basil, to taste
1 ounce soft goat cheese

Other:  Canola oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 

Combine the egg, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice into a flat bowl big enough for dipping the chicken into.  Place a peeled garlic clove along with two tablespoons of water into a glass bowl.  Microwave on high for about 7-10 minutes until the garlic dries.  At this point you should be able to pulverize it with a chef's knife.  Add garlic crumbles to the egg mixture and whisk. 

Note:  This method with the garlic adds a nice subtle - almost roasted - garlic flavor to the chicken without being overpowering.

Combine the flour, pepper and seafood seasoning (I used Old Bay) in another bowl.  Add the Panko and Italian breadcrumbs to a third plate or bowl. 

Now that you have your breading station assembled, dredge each chicken cutlet into the flower, the egg mixture, and then into the breadcrumbs.  Repeat until all of the chicken is coated evenly.  I like to press the breadcrumbs into the chicken. 

Place chicken on a cookie sheet on a wire rack to ensure even browning.  Spray lightly with cooking spray on the top.  Bake for about 25 minutes until juices run clear.  Adjust cooking time accordingly for your oven.

While the chicken is baking, combine the tomato, mustard, wine vinegar, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl.  Toss in the herbs and mix well.

Top chicken with the tomato "dressing" and the goat cheese.  I suggest serving this dish with fresh wilted kale.  Yum!

Variation:  If you want more "dressing," you can add a little more olive oil. 

I'll see you back here soon this week with those other dishes I promised. 

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