Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicken cutlets with peppers and capers

I am not really a photo person, and frequent readers of this blog (there are at least three of you I think) will know this from the paucity of photos of food that I post, in contrast to most other food blogs. Trying to photograph food makes me realize why food photography is a profession unto itself, and often involves doing things to the food that make it inedible, but pretty under the camera. The photo at left of today's dish I think provides ample evidence as to why I do this so infrequently. Amy said "It looks like lobster," which may have its merits, but isn't what I cooked.

Basically, I am a textual rather than visual person. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I would rather read the words, and it doesn't take all that long. To say that there is little visual record of my second child is an understatement, but my understanding is that this is a fate common to many second children. More out of the ordinary is that we have relatively few pictures of our first child. (She will say we actually have more of her brother but she is wrong.) So, readers will have to be satisfied with recipes, like this one, a Spanish style chicken scallopine. I made it with ground almonds left over from Pesach (which did not yet have a freezer smell) to accommodate Amy's low carb diet (I complain about it, but she looks fabulous). Here it is:

Chicken cutlets with peppers and capers

  • 1 pound thin sliced chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, white wine, or dry sherry (I prefer the broth; I used boxed Tabatchnick's which is acceptable in small quantities especially since it is overwhelmed by the other flavors)
  • 1/2 cup shredded or diced roasted peppers (I used jarred piquillo peppers from Spain, rinsed very well)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, small or large, rinsed

  1. Mix ground almonds, 1 teaspoon of salt, and paprika and put on a plate. Dredge chicken cutlets in the mixture as if you were breading or flouring them. (You could also defy the low-carb rule and use flour, but the almonds really taste good in this dish.)
  2. Spray a large nonstick skillet, heat on high, and add one tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Add chicken cutlets and cook on high until browned on both sides. If not quite done, cook a bit more. (This will take between 6 and as much as 15 minutes, depending on the actually thickness of the cutlets, how cold they are, your heat sources, the conductivity of your pan, and how crowded the pan is, etc., etc., etc.)
  4. Remove chicken cutlets to a large serving platter when done.
  5. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat on high.
  6. Add shallots, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and saute for 2 minutes.
  7. Add garlic, stir a few times, and add half the chopped parsley. Deglaze pan with the sherry vinegar and the stock or wine. Cook down until reduced a bit.
  8. Add peppers and capers and continue to reduce until there is relatively little liquid.
  9. Return cutlets to pan to warm through, and transfer back to the serving platter and top with peppers, capers, sauce and remaining parsley.
  10. Serves 4. We had it with pan roasted red kuri squash, but it would go better with a nice, crusty baguette.

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