Monday, November 29, 2010

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Porcini Sauce

The best part of making this recipe was that I finally used my meat pounder, the 2-pound MIU 3600. I think I'll keep dried porcini mushrooms as a permanent part of my pantry so I can make this recipe more often. It was pretty fast and perfect for a weeknight dinner. What's better after a long day at work than pounding out some frustrations on a chicken breast?

Of note, I didn't have the shallot this time, but I think it would have made the sauce even better.

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Porcini Sauce
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated March 2009

Serves 4

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp all-purpose flour
4 boneless,skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tbsps cold unsalted butter
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Freeze chicken breasts for 15 minutes to make cutting into cutlets easier. Trim breasts of excess fat and halve horizontally with chef's knife. Place each cutlet into bag from cereal box or between two pieces of parchment paper. Pound with your favorite meat pounder into 1/4-inch thick pieces.

Rinse porcini in large bowl of cold water, agitating them with hands to release dirt and sand. Allow dirt and sand to settle to bottom of bowl, then lift porcini from water and transfer to microwave-safe 2-cup measuring cup. Add chicken broth, submerging porcini beneath surface of liquid. Microwave on high power 1 minute, until broth is steaming. Let stand 10 minutes. Using tongs, gently lift porcini out of broth and transfer to cutting board, reserving broth. Chop porcini into ¾-inch pieces and transfer to medium bowl. Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer lined with large coffee filter into bowl with chopped porcini.

Combine ¼ cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in pie plate. Working one piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour, shaking gently to remove excess. Set aside on plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place 4 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer to large plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and repeat to cook remaining cutlets. Tent plate loosely with foil.

Add remaining teaspoon oil to now-empty skillet and return pan to medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 30 seconds. Add remaining teaspoon flour and cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in wine, soaked porcini and their liquid, tomato paste, soy sauce, and sugar. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer cutlets and any accumulated juices to skillet. Cover and simmer until cutlets are heated through, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and transfer cutlets to serving platter. Whisk butter, thyme, and lemon juice into sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

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