Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saganaki Chicken

One of my most proudin'est creations is something I call Saganaki Chicken. I love saganaki, the flaming cheese that you get at Greek restaurants, where they squirt the lemon juice on it, spread on the brandy, light it and say, "opa!" It isn't the show I enjoy so much. I think it is just the crusty, fried feta cheese. In fact, shut up and give me my flaming cheese already.

I pound chicken cutlets flat between sheets of plastic wrap, dip them in beaten egg, and then roll them in shredded parmesan and feta crumbles instead of breadcrumb. It will work with just the parmesan, too, only it will be less melty -- more like a parmesan crouton on the outside. You fry them in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

This doesn't work as well in a dry pan, and it is pretty messy. You also have to be careful not to peek, and try to flip the chicken before it has formed a nice crust on one side. I've put marinara over the top of this like chicken parmesan, but I really think it tastes better all by itself. I put the chicken pieces on a cookie rack as I cook them, with a paper towel underneath, because the little suckers want to stick to the paper towel while they are very hot. They are crunchy, cheesy and salty. I garnish with basil or parsely, and squeeze lemon over them.

"Opaaa!" Eh, shmeesh.

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