Weeknight Crispy Chicken
Sometimes I really struggle with the cooking time for recipes I write. There’s a lot of factors that might affect how much time a recipe takes. Most importantly, if you cook a lot, recipes will be quicker. You’ll know where stuff is in the kitchen, you’ll know how to chop an onion, and you’ll feel more comfortable with the steps.
There are other things though that can affect cooking time. In my case, am I taking photos? That’ll add on an hour in some cases. Also, is there a toddler crawling around trying to get into trouble? Tack on some more time.
The first time I made this recipe (for the blog), it was pretty fast even with photos and stuff. Then I made it again a few nights later when I was really crunched for time. I was amazed at how fast it was when I just had to make it with no worry about blogging. I made it in, like, 15 minutes.
I added some time to that because I’m pretty efficient in my kitchen these days, but even if you only cook occasionally, this is easily a weeknight crispy chicken meal. The chicken cooks quickly because they are thin cutlets and the sauce comes together in just a few minutes after the chicken is done.
Who says you can’t eat well on a Tuesday?!
1) If you’re starting with a full chicken breast, slice it in half horizontally to make two thin chicken cutlets.
2) Dredge chicken cutlets in egg, then transfer to flour mixture (flour stirred with salt, paprika, and pepper). Coat chicken well with flour mixture and set aside.
3) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot and glistening, cook chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until the cutlets are golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and let drain on a paper towel.
4) Drain off most the oil from the skillet, leaving about a tablespoon. Add diced onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until onion softens. Use the onion to scrape up any bits on the pan.
5) Deglaze pan with 1 cup chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute. Then add cream and turn heat down to low. Continue to cook so sauce thickens. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
6) Cook angel hair according to package. It should take just a few minutes.
Drain pasta and divide between two plates. Add a crispy chicken cutlet to each plate. Squirt chicken with some lemon. Top chicken with cream sauce and garnish with lemon zest and parsley.
Weeknight Crispy Chicken
There are a few tricks to keep this recipe quick. For starters, make sure you have thin chicken cutlets. What I like to do is take a full chicken breast and slice it in half horizontally so you end up with two thinner chicken pieces.
Whisk an egg in a small bowl and stir together some flour with the spices in the recipe. Dunk the chicken in the egg and then coat them well in the flour mixture.
There are really only two other chopping things you need to do: Chop an onion and zest a lemon. A lot of lemon zest makes this dish really pop so feel free to zest a whole lemon.
To cook the chicken, heat some oil in a large skillet. You just need enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook the chicken cutlets for 4-5 minutes on each side over medium heat until they are browned nicely on both sides and cooked through.
These should cook pretty quickly. Mine were done in 8 minutes for sure.
When the chicken comes out of the skillet, drain out most of the oil but leave about a tablespoon (you can eyeball it). Then add the diced onion and cook that for a minute or two and add the chicken stock. Use the liquid to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
Let that simmer for a minute or two and then add the cream. When you add the cream, turn the heat down to low and simmer the sauce until it starts to thicken. It won’t take long, just keep it on low heat.
While all this is happening, you can cook the pasta. You could use any pasta, but I like angel hair because it cooks quickly and goes well with a light cream sauce like this one.
Divide the pasta between a few plates and top each with a chicken cutlet. I like to hit the chicken with a spritz of lemon juice.
Then spoon some sauce on each and garnish each plate with fresh parsley and lemon zest.
BOOM. Dinner is done!