The Dish

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

(Photo Credit: Food & Wine Magazine)

We know it is easy to get in a cooking rut and chicken can get a bad rap. Happens at least once a week around here at Sommer House. So, here are a few of our favorite go-to recipes that may shake up your kitchen routine.   

We adore Justin Chapple of Food & Wine (his cookbook Just Cook It rocks!) and his roast chicken is our absolute favorite. Easy enough for a week night but impressive enough for the centerpiece of Saturday night in with friends. P.S. We love to add a smattering of pee-wee potatoes to the pan making this a perfect one pan dish. 

This recipe from New York’s City Bakery is one we love to serve straight out of the oven or stage-front at the Hollywood Bowl. Our pick for the perfect pretzel crust? Snyder’s of Hanover Sourdough Hard Pretzels. 

Jonesing for Howlin’ Rays but not up for the two hour wait? (Yes, it is worth it!) Then season on Saturday, invite your friends over for Sunday and fry up your own Nashville style hot chicken. Just make sure your free hand has something to sip on as when they say hot, they mean hot. 

And there is always soup. In this case a Greek twist on chicken soup with lots of lemon and orzo. Love that this can essentially be made with many on hand ingredients and a quick trip to the grocery store  for a pre-made rotisserie chicken. 

Lastly, chicken schnitzel. This recipe, although tweaked a bit, comes by way of my very talented friend Adeena who makes it with almond milk instead of dairy. It is super easy once you get the hang of it and hope your kids love it as much as mine do. The proof? My vegetarian teen now asks for this on a weekly basis.  

Free Form Chicken Schnitzel 

Take 1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cutlets and pound quite thin but not so they fall apart. 

Once pounded thin, sprinkle chicken with Kosher salt and add to a baking dish. Cover the chicken with a mixture of whole milk and 2-3 large eggs, beaten. Soak in the milk for 30-60 minutes. This does not have to be precise. 

Cover a large plate or dish with panko (or dry breadcrumbs) and add salt, pepper or any other seasonings that suit you. 

Take chicken one piece at a time out of milk marinade, coat both sides in panko and put aside on a baking dish or sheet pan. Finish with all chicken. Chill panko crusted chicken in freezer for about 30 minutes. Again, not absolute but helps the coating stay on when frying. 

In a large cast iron skillet (we love cast iron!) add vegetable oil (we also like peanut) to about 1” and bring to medium heat. You want it hot but not too hot so that it will burn the panko. 

Add a few pieces of chicken to the oil and fry on each side for a couple of minutes. You will know, just watch for the panko to turn golden brown. As each piece is done, place on a tray covered in paper towels and place in warming drawer or oven heated at about 200. 

To serve, place chicken on platter, add a sprinkle Maldon sea salt and scatter with lemon slices. Our kids love to season their own. And for a bit fancier touch, I add some chopped Italian parsley to the hot oil (just after I turn off the heat and remove the last piece of chicken) and quickly fry the parsley with the heat off. Sprinkle the parsley on top of the chicken or also serve on the side. 

For more chicken inspo, check out our Pinterest page.


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