Frying is often deemed a bit daunting for the home cook, but there’s no reason why. In this recipe, tender, buttermilk-marinated chicken cutlets cook quickly and absorb very little oil. The result is crisp, well-seasoned chicken, enhanced by a sweet-and-spicy sauce made with just two ingredients.
Regan Burns Cafiso
|4 (1 3/4 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves||Canola or vegetable oil, for frying|
|Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper||2 cups all-purpose flour|
|1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk||1/4 cup honey|
|1 tablespoon Dijon mustard||1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper|
|Several dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco|
Halve chicken breasts crosswise so you have 8 cutlets. Place each cutlet between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound thicker areas to uniform thickness. Season cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large, nonreactive bowl combine buttermilk, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, a pinch of black pepper, and several dashes of hot sauce; mix well. Place chicken cutlets in buttermilk mixture, stirring to coat each piece. Place in refrigerator and marinate 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 200 degrees and place a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour enough oil into a 12-inch, heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) to measure about ¾-inch deep, and begin heating over medium high. In a shallow dish, combine flour. ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. In a separate small bowl, combine honey and ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper; set aside.
When oil reaches 360 degrees, remove 4 chicken cutlets from buttermilk marinade and coat well in seasoned flour mixture. Carefully place cutlets in hot oil and cook, turning once until they are dark golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Use a slotted spatula to remove finished cutlets to rimmed baking sheet to drain; sprinkle with salt. Keep finished cutlets warm in the oven. Repeat frying process with remaining cutlets. Serve finished cutlets drizzled with black-pepper honey.
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