I feel silly posting such simple meals like this one. It seems like such a no brainer type of recipe. To be honest though, I forget how easy and delicious it is myself. I rarely make it. It really is fast and so simple to make and the payoff, well, all I can say is: shaBAM. That just about sums it up.
I’ve talked about pesto before. I’ve mentioned (and I’m sure many of you already know) that you can make pesto out of so many different combinations. Spinach and walnuts. Arugula and almonds. Basil and pine nuts. The combination possibilities are endless! Try new pairings and be creative. Try different cheeses, parmesan is delicious, but that’s not your only option. Don’t forget about Romano or Asiago any hard cheese will do!
The point is, a chicken cutlet is not difficult to make. We’ve all made them. Pesto isn’t hard to make either. As long as you don’t freak out about having to spend a lot of money on pine nuts. You don’t have to only use pine nuts. They are pricey at times, I feel ya. Be flexible when cooking. If you read a recipe and don’t have every ingredient, there are usually substitutions that can easily be made. Swap out cheeses, nuts, spices, it’ll still be great and delicious.
I used to freak out when I was trying to follow a recipe. I’d be running back and forth to the supermarket a thousand times. Yes, plan ahead, but don’t be so crazy about following so strictly, that you end up buying sooo much of one thing when you only need a tiny bit and you’ve wasted your money. Cooking should be a fun and calming experience. If you’re stressing and going broke, you’re not doing it right. “Breathe and relax,” that’s what I have to often remind myself of when icing sugar cookies with royal icing for instance. The reality is, they’re sugar cookies, if you mess up decorating them, no one cares, they’re sugar cookies for goodness sakes! people will be devouring them!
Here’s a tip for getting nice juicy and crispy chicken, pound it out thin. Put the chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and bang it until it’s nice and thin. Use a mallet or a heavy frying pan, either works. The thinner it is the quicker it will cook up in the pan. The less time it spends in the pan, the less time it has to dry out. I know you don’t want to hear this, but if you want it crispy and crunchy, you have to use two important ingredients: panko and fat, either oil or butter. Panko holds up better than traditional bread crumbs and you need the fat to add both flavor and crispiness helpings.