In this iteration of cooking at home, I decided to just do something different. Specifically, I focused on a changing up the chicken cutlet sandwich, an Italian immigrant staple known as a “cotolette sangwiche.” To change things up I made heavy use of non-traditional ingredients like cilantro and a variety of spices that would most likely cause a gasp. I also made a side of roasted potatoes.
As usual, while I do keep track of the ingredients that I use, I do not really care for the amount that I use as long as it is within a reasonable amount. I have an affinity for food that has more of a ‘punch’ and subtlety is not really a commonality when it comes to my cooking. So, this is something to be decided on whoever chooses to try this.
To summarize the meal, I made an array of three chicken cutlet sandwiches with a side of roasted potatoes. Below is an exploded listing of which component contains what ingredient:
- Chicken breast (Marinated overnight)
- White wine
- Pressed garlic
- Harissa spice
- Lemon juice (I used one lemon’s worth)
- Sauerkraut that I diluted a bit
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Coriander + cilantro
- Brioche buns
- Mayonnaise + spices
- Chicken breast (Marinated overnight)
- Cleaned potatoes cut into wedged
Spices used in general: S&B Oriental Curry, harissa, turmeric + cumin
Before all, I brought the oven to temperature for the side. In spite of the temperature reading, I got a sense of the fact that it might not be the actual temperature inside the oven. I wonder how much error the reading is prone to, but this is definitely a waste of my time. For this, I constantly check for progress.
First thing to do is create the marinade. To start, get your chicken breast, slice into nice slices. The goal is to keep these thin enough so that the breaded chicken will cook quickly, but remains juicy.
Toppings, Garnishes and Getting Ready for the Action
Cilantro: Wash. Dry? Chop!
Sauerkraut: This needs minimal explanation. I wanted to try our less-sour-sauerkraut and so I diluted it with some water and let it dry.
Buns: I got the brioche buns a bit toasted over a hot(ter) pan. While they were quite buttery initially, I might try to add some ghee to get it crispy next time.
Dressing sauce: As This Hour Has 22 Minutes puts it in one of their recent episodes, white people seem to love mayonnaise. I can agree with the fact that I love mayonnaise and I cannot tell you why. It’s just outright delicious! On that note, I introduced some spices above to give it some flavour and colour. This was done on a personal taste basis.
For this, I let the chicken out about 30-45 minutes before I planned on cooking it. It was quite apparent that the acid from the lemon juice had taken an effect on the chicken as it was no longer pink. This turned out great from a perspective of flavour so I suppose you could say that it worked out.
Taking pieces out of the marinade bag, I had the excess marinade run off, put it in an egg-wash and then panko-ed it carefully. As I’ll mention below, it turns out that you can introduce some flour into that sequence of events to keep the chicken moist, especially since the cutlet is subject to high heat and could lose moisture very quickly. I will admit that the chicken could have been less dry, so this will be something to test out next time.
Bringing some cooking oil to temperature, the benefit of having thin smaller pieces of chicken allows for using a smaller vessel to cook thus saving on oil. It turns out that I couldn’t remember such a crucial ingredient while shopping. It was only deep into the walk back that it came to me, and I was then somewhat forced to spend 6 dollars at the convenience store. Trust me, I know.
Onions chopped, I tossed those on a pan to get frying, but with the circus of cooking going on, it increasingly became a challenge to manage them as my impatience to have them cooked got the best of me. Lesson learned and I will cook those before.
Pitfalls of a Tiny Kitchen
One thing about having the ridiculously small kitchen that I have is the necessity for organization. This remains true even for trivial tasks such as where to keep my ingredients who are sometimes kept on my shelf! This is more or less of a non-issue however, and despite the minor complaining, it provides room for ideas on optimizing that process.
Points to Improve on
Timing is most definitely the thing that I need to improve on. Otherwise, I get charred onions and that disappoints me. I think another helpful thing would be to have a kitchen with tools that are more organized so that I’m not searching through things. That all being said, I haven’t made this much of a meal in such a small space before, so perhaps cutting myself some slack would be a good idea.
Thanks for sticking through until the end! Until next time.