My first born starting school has opened up a world of culinary challenges: what can I make and pack for her that a) she’ll eat b) is nutritious (most of the time) and c) not too messy? The top two contenders so far as been a chicken “salad” sandwich made from leftover chicken curry, mayo and provolone cheese. First choice though, banana nutella sandwich. That’s my cop out sandwich. Something I’m sure Park Slope moms would be aghast at finding out was given to a child. You’ve heard about that, right? The parents who wanted to ban the ice cream truck coming ’round the block so they wouldn’t have to deal with their kids ice cream wanting tantrums. While I empathize with the tantrum dealing – I wonder how many parents in my generation reflect on the food they grew up versus the food they feed their kids. Sometimes I get so hung up on, “Are my kids eating enough greens?” “Are they getting enough fiber?” “Is it too late in the evening for chocolate?”. While it’s definitely good to be thinking of these things, some of us go off the deep end when it comes to this stuff. A certain parent comes to mind who flipped out when her daughter was given a rice biscuit or whatever too close to her dinner time. Do you know what my after-school snacks consisted of? Double chocolate chip muffins laden with all kinds of artificial flavorings and preservatives with a can of pepsi. Or entenmann’s chocolate cake. Or chips ahoy cookies with milk. My gourmet touch was microwaving the chips ahoy cookies to give ’em that just baked quality. Right.So, over the years, I’ve given myself a break. Not all their fruits and veggies are organic anymore. Sometimes they have nutella toast for dinner. And lollipops or ice cream in the evening? One heck of a reward for cleaning up their toys! Not to say I’ve thrown all caution to the wind. I snuck some baby kale leaves into my daughter’s wrap this morning. Usually I make her sandwiches with soft whole wheat bread. Pictured below is Malaysian style paratha which, if you were with me during my semester in Rome, you know it is crazy good. It’s a flaky flatbread that makes anything taste good (not that this chicken needs any help!!). My favorite part of this chicken is the wonderful caramelization from cooking it in the butter. Why didn’t we eat more butter growing up? It is so glorious when treated well. Buttered toast in our household usually meant Country Crock vegetable spread on lightly toasted Wonder Bread.So enjoy these chicken cutlets all throughout the week:
- Sliced across the grain and over salad
- Diced and mixed with a mayo dressing for chicken salad sandwiches
- Sliced and inside wraps with lettuce and tomato
- Diced and tossed with buttered pasta and peas
- Or as is, with a side of quinoa and leafy greens!
- 2 large chicken breasts, each sliced in half widthwise to make 4 cutlets
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp butter, divided
- Combine spices in a small bowl and sprinkle all or most of it evenly over both sides of each chicken cutlet.
- In a large fry pan over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil and 1/2 tbsp butter. When the bubbling of the butter dies down, add two pieces of the chicken cutlets. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. You’ll know when to flip when the bottom side is golden brown and the white (cooked) part of the chicken creeps up to the middle. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- When the first two are done, remove from heat and let them rest on a plate (not a cutting board as the juices will run). Clean the pan with a rubber spatula to get the overly brown bits and oil off and into a ramekin or bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon oil and half tablespoon butter. Cook the remaining two cutlets the same way. Remove to plate and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.