Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 15: Lemony Crispy Chicken Cutlets and Roasted Tomato Salad with Pine Nuts and Blue Cheese

6 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
   Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
   Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon cut into wedges
2 eggs
   Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
2 pounds thin chicken cutlets
1 sack (12 ounces) baby spinach
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss the tomatoes with a little drizzle of EVOO and season with the thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the seasoned tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

Preheat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring and tossing frequently, until lightly golden. Or you can toast the pine nuts in the oven on a rimmed cookie sheet until golden all over, about 10 minutes. Reserve the nuts.

Place the flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine the bread crumbs and lemon zest. Beat the eggs in a separate shallow dish with a splash of water.

Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides and turn lightly in the flour. Coat the cutlets in the egg mixture, then in the breading, and add to the hot oil. Cook the cutlets in a single layer, in 2 batches if necessary, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned.

Remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven and coarsely chop, then transfer to a salad bowl. Add the baby spinach, the lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, the reserved toasted pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Toss together and let the heat of the tomatoes slightly wilt the spinach.

Serve the chicken cutlets with a generous portion of the roasted tomato salad; sprinkle the salad with the crumbled blue cheese. Arrange lemon wedges alongside.


I had a little bit of a hard time eating this meal. Maybe because I wasn't feeling very well. The chicken tasted good. DH really liked it, but I guess I didn't have the stomach for it. The flavors in the salad were a little strange together. I ate all the pine nuts first, then I ate the spinach with the cheese. Finally I ate the tomatoes. It was a little odd having cooked tomatoes with blue cheese. But separately, all the flavors in the salad were good. I guess I just had to get used to the flavors first before I enjoyed it. The only thing I changed was I used dried thyme for fresh.

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