Just made this absolutely lip-smackingly delicious meal last night. Back in the States, many of my favorite dishes included some sort of marinated chicken or beef (…or any meat) dish, and surprisingly this is my first after 6 months in Germany. The reason for this is since moving abroad, I have found it occasionally difficult to recreate dishes that I would make back home. The problem often arises from my love of spicy peppers. Germans, unfortunately, do not like strong tastes… including my beloved capsicums. Last week, I
Sweet (Spicy) Relief!
Last week, I finally found some spicy peppers in a supermarket just one subway stop away. Of the three neighborhood supermarkets nearby, not one carried fresh spicy peppers of any sort. As you might expect, I went crazy with the capsaicin after a long time apart, injecting it into dishes I rarely would back home. However, this is a dish that absolutely NEEDS some jalapeño and one that I could not wait to make once I got my mitts on some glorious capsicums.
The marinade tenderizes the chicken and reallllly gives it some juicy flavor, and the breading locks in that flavor during cooking. Together, the marinated chicken, juicy and fresh, combines with the crispy panko crust to make a beautiful dish that I can’t wait to eat the leftovers of today. It’s easy to make, doesn’t require too much prep besides time, and could pair with a wide array of sides!
2 spring onion white ends, to a bit green sliced (until it stops sounding crisp)
A whole medium jalapeño with seeds chopped (frustratingly difficult to find here in Germany)
Up 2 to T olive oil
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Juice from 1/2 lime
Zest of a whole lime
3 T or so of your favorite honey, to taste
1 to 2 t fresh ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Pinch of salt, pepper (and cayenne)
Mix together in a small bowl to combine.
400g (0.88 lbs.) of half-inch thick breast meat filets. Should be 4 pieces (2 medium-sized breasts sliced in half to make 4 thin pieces).
Either use pre-made “minute fillets” which are already thin (available here in Germany), or boneless skinless breasts, slicing each into two thinner pieces. Pound until about 1/2 inch thick.
Liberally season both sides of the fillets with freshly ground salt and pepper. Place them into a Ziploc bag, Tupperware, or any other container and spoon over the marinade. Stir and/or shake to coat the chicken with the marinade and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours (the longer the better here). Marinated chicken is always better when it marinates for longer (okay, maybe not more than a day).
Breading the marinated chicken
1 cup or so of panko bread crumbs (yes, you must use panko!)
2 t freshly ground sea salt
2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 splash of milk
Set up a station to dip and bread your beautifully marinated chicken. From left to right:
1. The bag or container of your wonderfully aromatic marinated chicken, next
2. Egg and milk, combined together in a wide shallow bowl, next
3. Panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper mixed together on a plate or in shallow bowl (don’t use all of the mixture at once, it’s better to put in fresh breading mixture after each fillet is breaded), finally
4. A plate for placing finished filets.
Tips: let the excess marinade drip off before dipping in the egg wash, and also let the excess egg drip off before placing the fillets into the breading mixture. Flip the chicken in the mixture, and pinch some of the breading mixture over the chicken filet and firmly pat it onto the chicken to help it stick, repeat for the other side.
Heat a heavy pan filled with a thin layer of cooking oil using medium-high heat. Do not use olive oil as the cooking oil! Use canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil. The amount should be juuuust enough to be able to swish it around the oil in the pan, it was about 1 1/2 T for me.
Once the pan is hot, place your fillets gently, by hand, setting them away from you. Cook on each side for 3 or 4 minutes, depending on your chicken and your pan. I waited to see the breading on the sides of the filet browning, and the meat at the edges turning opaque white.
This should result in an extremely juicy and flavorful, while still healthy, crispy chicken recipe. You can tune the marinade to your liking but this worked out really well! We could really taste all the ingredients in the marinade, it seemed like some of the marinade stayed attached to the chicken because of the egg in the breading process. We paired with sides of simple mixed vegetables and a balsamic vinaigrette mixed salad. Oh, and some white wine. Om nom nom.
I suggest using the extra lemon and lime to make and garnish cocktails after dinner and make a night of it. Here’s a margarita recipe for kicks.