This was so good despite the fact that I temporarily lost my mind and mistakenly used chicken breast halves instead of cutlets. What’s the difference? Well, a lot of cooking time, for one. Basically, a cutlet is a breast half cut in half, horizontally, making two much thinner breast-shaped pieces. I saved it by browning them in the pan and finishing in the oven. Don’t do it this way.
There are at least two things I love about this dish: one, that it’s something new and different to do with a chicken breast, and two, it’s a quick weeknight meal that puts so-called convenience foods, like Shake and Bake, to shame. Meaning, you can make something MUCH tastier, MUCH healthier, MUCH more interesting, and just as quickly from scratch.
The original recipe just called for regular yogurt but I had to buy a tub of Greek-style for another recipe so I used it here too with great results. (Given the crazy popularity of Greek yogurt right now I’m kind of mystified as to why their economy is still on life support. Did they not think to patent this stuff? Are they not getting royalties?)
And I think you all know how I feel about smoked paprika. So much bang for your buck. It makes anything you stir it into instantly smokey and interesting. And it’s right there in the spice aisle of your regular grocery store, next to the usual suspects.
Spanish Chicken Cutlets with Yogurt Sauce
From Cook’s Country, February/March 2012
1-1/4 cups plain Greek-style yogurt (or regular plain yogurt)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 (6-ounce) chicken cutlets, 1/2″ thick
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Combine yogurt, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Reserve ½ cup yogurt mixture. Place panko in shallow dish. Pat cutlets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. One at a time, coat cutlets in remaining yogurt mixture and dredge in bread crumbs, pressing to adhere.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook 2 cutlets until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to heat-proof serving dish (or cookies sheet) and keep warm in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and remaining cutlets.
3. Turn off heat and wipe out skillet with paper towels, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and garlic and cook (with residual heat) until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Let cool slightly. Whisk cooled garlic oil and most of the parsley into reserved yogurt mixture until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon some of the sauce over chicken, sprinkle with remaining parsley, and serve with remaining sauce on the side.