Recipe Review: Chicken Two Ways

3 Jul

As I said in this post last week, I have made it a challenge to myself to cook and review two recipes each week.  This week’s recipes are Chicken Milanese from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, and Chicken, Millet & Mushrooms One-Skillet Meal from Whole Foods.  Let’s begin with Paltrow’s Chicken Milanese:

 

 

I love this cookbook for many reasons (and I must admit that I adore Paltrow as an actor), but the main one is that My Father’s Daughter is not stuffy as one might expect from a celebrity cookbook.  The recipes are easy to follow, healthy, and often have alternative methods to fit different diets and tastes.  The Chicken Milanese is exactly like that.  Paltrow offers four different ways of serving up this dish and the one I chose was the one she listed as her summertime favorite–with a touch of corriander in the panko crumb mixture and served with a tomato-avocado salad.

 

Ingredients

 

for chicken

 

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, washed and dried (Paltrow recommends free-range and organic, if available)

1 cup milk (I used Horizon organic)

2 cups Panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tsp ground coriander

for salad

1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup starburst (yellow cherry) tomatoes *

2 limes

1 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro leaves

1/4 cup roughly chopped scallions

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp feta, crumbled*

*My variation

 

Ingredients

 

For the Chicken Milanese:

 

Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of baking parchment paper. Using a mallet, pound the chicken breasts until they’re very, very thin–you should be able to almost see through them–about 1/16-inch thick. Put the milk in a shallow bowl and the bread crumbs on a large plate. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then dredge it in the bread crumb/coriander mix, tapping off the excess. You should have a thin, even coating.

 

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet big enough to hold 2 pieces of chicken in a single layer. Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side, or until evenly browned and crisp. Flip and cook for an additional 2 or 3 minutes, or until the other side is browned and crisp and the chicken is firm to the touch. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and the remaining 2 pieces of chicken.

 

For the Tomato & Avocado Salad:

 

Combine the avocado, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro in a bowl.  Toss with 1 tsp feta and dress with the olive oil and juice of 1 limes.

 

From my Test Kitchen

 

Place one piece of chicken on each plate and divide the salad over each piece.  Quarter the remaining lime and put a piece on each plate for each person to squeeze over the food.

From my Test Kitchen

 

 

Outcome: I love how easy to make this was and that the panko offered a crisper and low-sodium alternative to traditional bread crumbs.  I also think my addition of the starburst tomatoes added a colorful variety to the plate.  I think the lime is essential in this recipe: the chicken would have been rather bland without it.  This is an otherwise delicious recipe that I would make again.  It’s great for a quick, healthy, inexpensive week-night meal (which I will use this recipe for), but does not pull out all of the stops.

 

Up next, we have the Chicken, Millet & Mushroom One-Skillet Meal from Whole Foods.

 

As I said in this post, millet is known as a “wondergrain” for its healthy properties.  It also has a lovely nutty, buttery taste.  Since I had already experimented before with millet by making millet muffins, I was excited when I came across this recipe from Whole Foods.  The process photos are mine.

 

Ingredients

 

 

2 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 (about 2 1/2 pounds) skinless bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup uncooked millet
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 cups shredded Swiss chard (without stems)

 

Method

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then arrange 4 of the thighs in the skillet. Cook, flipping once, until deep golden brown all over, about 10 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a large plate; repeat process with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining thighs.

 

Once all of the thighs are browned and transferred to the plate, add onions, mushrooms and millet to the same skillet and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in wine, broth, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into skillet, submerging it in the millet and vegetables; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until chicken is almost cooked through, about 25 minutes.

 

Uncover skillet and gently stir in chard. Cover skillet and cook until millet and chard are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more.

 

Spoon chicken, millet and vegetables onto plates and serve immediately.

 

 

Outcome: This was an amazing meal that I really felt proud of and would make again for both my husband and myself as well as dinner guests.  For those of you who haven’t cooked with millet, when you cook the millet, it turns into a couscous-type texture and works as a starch (but it not too “starchy”).  Overall, I think Whole Foods did it again with another excellent, easy-to-follow, healthful recipe.  I will definitely keep this one in my pocket.

 

One note: This recipe, I found, was a bit dry.  I would advise adding 1/4 cup more broth toward the end of the cooking time.  I also added a good couple of squeezes of fresh lemon toward the end as well, and the added moisture made the difference.

 

Happy Cooking!

 

Up Next Week: Rosemary Pork Chops and Cajun Blackberry Dumplings!

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