I'll never forget my first attempt at cooking for my husband. We were in our early twenties and had been dating for about 3 months. We were watching a movie at my apartment and the clock ticked dinnertime and I seriously was not prepared to cook. I suggested we have some linguine with white clam sauce. His eyes lit up and he said "that sounds perfect." I run into the kitchen and put the linguine in the pot to boil. Next thing I know he walks in on me opening the can to the "white clam sauce." My husband is New York Italian and knows good Italian food. This is a guy who never had Ragu or Prego and I was serving him white clam sauce from a can. I thought he was going to collapse out of shock. He couldn't think I would make it fresh? Would I really have fresh clams in the fridge ready to go? The look of fear on his face as I brought the linguine over to the table told me I needed to really learn to cook. So I started to learn with the help of Food Network, cookbooks, many calls to my mom mid-recipe, experimentation, and intuition.
My husband loves Italian breaded chicken cutlets and after a meal in a famous New York City Italian restaurant, I thought to myself: I can make that. I'll never forget the first time trying to make this. I bought the chicken breasts, a mallet, some eggs, and Italian bread crumbs. I laid the chicken breasts on the cutting board and started to pound them with the mallet. With every pound I would get sprayed with chicken juice. I thought about how disgusting this was and could not understand how people do this. Then I took each piece of the thinly pounded chicken and dipped it in the beaten eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, and then into a hot skillet of olive oil. They really weren't bad. Luckily we did not get food poisoning and no worries - I totally disinfected the kitchen and myself. The day I learned about placing the chicken in saran wrap before pounding was a turning point. Over the years, I perfected that gluten-full Italian chicken cutlet topped with red peppers and onions sautéed in olive oil and oregano.
Like many of you may have found, making separate gluten-filled meals for your family can be time consuming and to find gluten-free foods your family likes can be impossible at times. Luckily I found a new gluten-free product that has saved my life! This product is as close as it gets to gluten-full breadcrumbs and I am compelled to share it with you if you haven't tried it yet. Aleia's Gluten Free Foods began when owner/creator, Kim Snow, a culinary trained chef who is herself gluten intolerant opened a restaurant in 1993 in CT and later a bakery. All of their products are manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility and are all natural and kosher certified. Their products range from cookies, to stuffing mix (yes, you heard me right - STUFFING!!!) and my favorite, Italian bread crumbs. Now, I can make the Italian chicken cutlets my husband and I have loved for so many years gluten-free. My husband says they are just as good as regular gluten-full cutlets and he can't tell the difference. Yes ... these are NY Italian approved!! Now, I can also make breaded eggplant, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, mozzarella sticks and even fried green tomatoes all gluten-free!!
Behold the Gluten-Fuggedaboutit Chicken Cutlets with Peppers & Onions:
Gluten-Fuggedaboutit Chicken Cutlets
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (preferably organic)
3 large eggs
1 container Aleia's Gluten Free Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese (fresh - not pkg as pkg may not be gf)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + possibly more depending on the size of your cutlets and your pan
1/4 cup canola oil + possibly more depending on the size of your cutlets and your pan
1) Rinse chicken and place on a plate. Begin placing one cutlet at a time in between saran wrap on top of a plastic cutting board and pound with mallet until about 1/2" thick.
2) Heat both canola and olive oil in large skillet at about medium high heat. The oil should come up about 1/4" in the pan.
3) In a small - medium sized container beat 3 large eggs and 2 TBSP water. Tip: Best for the container to be shallow and have a wide opening as this is where you will dip your chicken first.
4) In a small - medium sized container combine the bread crumbs with the parmesan cheese. Tip: Best for the container to be shallow and have a wide opening as this is where you will dip your chicken next.
5) Set up your assembly line! Chicken, then eggs (yes, the chicken before the egg), then bread crumbs, then skillet. Start dipping the chicken first into the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure you press the bread crumb mixture into the chicken on both sides then place into the skillet. Flip once the bottom is medium golden and cook the other side until medium golden.
6) Place cooked chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.
7) Set oven to 200 degrees.
8) As chicken starts to drain off some of the oil, place in casserole dish, cover with foil and place in the oven to keep warm while the others cook.
9) Top with the sautéed peppers and onions and serve with a green vegetable or salad.
Sautéed Peppers and Onions
1 large onion sliced
4 red peppers, seeded and sliced
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
4 TBSP oregano
1) Heat large saute pan with olive oil and oregano over medium heat
2) Add onion and red peppers and toss with oil to coat
3) Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Check from time to time to toss with tongs.
4) Cook until they are too your liking... Or look like the picture above.