Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Chicken Milanese-Updated

 

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Chicken Milanese is my favorite of all my dishes. The idea of warm chicken on top of a cool, crisp green salad, lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and shaved pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, makes me, well…CRAZY

All Chicken Milanese is, is a breaded chicken cutlet that’s been shallow fried in olive oil. My grandmother had her method, she would dip the chicken breasts in beaten eggs that had been seasoned, and then the chicken would be dredged in Italian bread crumbs.  I’ve updated that a bit.

To make the best-fried chicken, the chicken should be marinated in buttermilk, for a couple of hours or overnight, as a first step. It really tenderizes the chicken and then, of course, a flour or breading would follow.  I’ve decided to use a seasoned Greek yogurt as a first step then follow that up with the breading. It makes the chicken so tender and the spices really permeate the meat. Then I follow up with the breading.

I’m a really big fan of grilled chicken on top of a Caesar salad, so that gave me this idea! I’m using my favorite brand of a creamy chicken Caesar dressing as a marinade for my Milanese. The spices are already in the dressing, and I love the flavor of a Caesar dressing. This will make a great marinade and tenderizer for the chicken cutlets.

This is my Chicken Milanese-Updated.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Chicken Milanese-Updated

 

 

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Minimum 2 hours
Total Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large baking sheet and rack, 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, vegetable peeler

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound of chicken cutlets (breasts)
1 16-ounce bottle of creamy Caesar dressing
2 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped  (substitute 2 tablespoons of dried)

2 packages of prewashed mixed greens
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
4 lemons
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, marinate chicken cutlets in a mixture of Creamy Caesar dressing and 1/4 cup of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley for 2 hours.

Note: Make sure each on the cutlets is coated on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the frig for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Line baking sheet with foil and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken from the frig. Pour the breadcrumbs into a large bowl with 1/4 of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, toss to combine. Dredge each cutlet, shaking off the excess Caesar dressing, into the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess breadcrumbs. Once they’re all breaded, set them onto the baking sheet pan fitted with a rack.

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Carefully add in the olive oil, tilting the pan away from you. Make sure the bottom of the pan is covered in oil. Once the oil has come up to temperature, ( you can test this by just submerging the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you notice the oil bubbling, surrounding the tip of the handle, the oil is ready.) carefully add the breaded chicken to the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You may have to do this shallow frying in batches and possibly add more olive oil. Pan fry about 2 to 3 minutes per side, just enough to get a golden brown color on both sides.

Transfer golden brown cutlets back onto the baking sheet fitted with the rack. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. The internal temperature of 165-degrees F.

To serve:
Divide the mixed greens onto 4 salad plates. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over each salad. Drizzle each with a couple of tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. Sprinkle each salad with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Using a potato peeler, shave a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano over each salad. Top each of the cold crisp salads with 2 of the hot pieces of the Chicken Milanese. The remaining lemon juice squeeze over the chicken placing the used lemon on the plate. Serve immediately and enjoy!!! There you have it my Chicken Milanese-Updated.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs

 

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This style of mussels is so delicious. Most importantly, the broth that rests in the bottom of the bowl is heavenly. This is my recipe for Mussels With BasilGarlic Breadcrumbs.

Having the toasted flavored bread crumbs nestled inside the shells gives great texture to the mussels. The fresh herbs and garlic add extra flavor. It’s so simple to make. Let me show you.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Time for Mussels: 30 to 40 minutes (includes filtering the sand out in the sink)
Prep Time For Bread Crumbs: 10 minutes
Cook Time For Bread Crumbs: 5 to 7 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, spider, mini food processor, large mixing bowl, Microplane

Ingredients:
3 pounds of mussels
1 bottle of Chardonnay
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1 stick of melted butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought 3 pounds of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. After going through all of them, you may find ones that are open or cracked. This means they are no longer alive and are no good.

If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.

Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.

Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.

Next, I fill up my sink with water adding in a couple of tablespoons of flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I divide the mussels into three large Tupperware containers. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.

In a large preheated stockpot over medium-high heat add the cleaned mussels. Pour in a whole bottle of white wine. Place the lid on and let the mussels steam. Once all the mussels have opened, they’re done. If you see any mussels that have not opened discard them. I like to stir the mussels once through the steaming process so they can all drink up some of the wine. This whole process happens really quickly.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add unsalted butter. Allow the butter to melt then add Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Pernod. To the melted butter add Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Using a spatula, toss to coat. Folding the bread crumbs continuously, until the bread crumbs have absorbed the flavored butter and have toasted up nicely 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the garlic cloves, pulse until minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts, lemon zest, and toasted breadcrumbs, mix to combine.

Next, to the food processor add the Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh basil leaves. Pulse them a few times just until finely chopped but not minced. Transfer to the bowl containing the toasted breadcrumb mixture, stir to combine.

To serve, ladle the mussels into a serving bowl. Finish by generously sprinkling the toasted basil-garlic breadcrumbs over the top. These are my Mussels With Basil-Garlic Breadcrumbs.

*Beard: The beard also known as byssus threads. They’re filaments that the mussel uses to secure itself to hard surfaces. they’re usually brownish and may appear somewhat like seaweed.

Mussels Three Ways

Mussels In A Tomato-Basil White Wine

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Steamed Mussels With Tomato And Garlic Broth

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This dish was my dad’s favorite seafood dish of all time. He loved it when I’d make my Steamed Mussels With Tomato And Garlic Broth. We shared so many good times and great meals together. I miss you every day.

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Onions

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 47 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Yields: 2 servings (1 1/2 pounds per person)
Equipment: large stockpot, 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting lid, spider, Mandolin

Ingredients:
3 pounds of mussels, cleaned
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter, unsalted
1 sweet onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and their juice
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of Pernod,
1 bottle plus 1 cup of Chardonnay
1 quart of chicken stock, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Pernod

1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves, Julienned

Directions For Prepping Mussels:
I bought six 2-pound bags of PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels at my local seafood store. Yes, that’s a lot of mussels but, after going through all of them, you may find some that are open and/or cracked. Discard those because they’re no longer alive and no good.

If you come across those that may be slightly open, you can do a quick test by giving them a good thump with your fingers, if they don’t close, get rid of them. They’re dead and no good. Then you may find some with a chipped shell from the shipping process. Get rid of them.
Next, when you’re scrubbing the outside shells, removing debris, and whatnot, you want to remove the *beard from each mussel. Look, everything that’s worthwhile means doing the work. Great seafood recipes are no different.

We start by getting to the seafood shop as soon as it opens, about 7 am. All six 2-pound bags are packed on ice for the ride home. Then it becomes a family project. Due to the way the mussels are packaged you really don’t know how many of them may be damaged, from shipping, or just might be dead. It’s important to take this into consideration.

Note: During the cleaning of the mussels, they must remain as cold as possible. Once they’ve been cleaned, immediately return them to an ice-filled container.

Steve has two chairs set up outside with a couple of brushes, ice, and two buckets of water for cleaning and rinsing the mussels. He doesn’t mind doing the work because he knows about the payoff. It takes the two of us about 45 minutes to clean, remove all the beards, and discard any dead ones. When all is said and done, the 12 pounds of mussels, I bought, end up being a good 10 pounds of perfection. Keep in mind, we’re talking about 95% “shell weight” here!

Next, I fill up my sink with water adding in a couple of tablespoons of flour. Using my hands, I swish the flour around until the water becomes cloudy. I add all the cleaned mussels into the water-filled sink. Mussels act like a filter and will drink the flour/water mixture and spit the water back out, along with any sand they may have inside their shells. This process only takes a couple of minutes. Then, I drain the water from the sink and spray the mussels down with clean water. I’ve divided the mussels into four large Tupperware containers each containing approx. 3 pounds of mussels. Top each container with ice then transfer the containers to the refrigerator. It’s time to start on my broth for the mussels.

Directions For the Sauce:
In a large saucepot over medium-high heat add olive oil, butter, and crushed red pepper flakes. Once the butter melts add the diced onions, stirring frequently, cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the sliced fennel, minced garlic, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Chardonnay, stir to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the wine to reduce. Add the Roma tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes and their juice, Pernod, and chicken stock. Reduce the heat to medium, simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, place a lid on the pot transfer to the back burner, set temperature to warm, or your lowest setting. Immediately before ladling the sauce over the mussels add the basil and parsley stir to combine.

Take one of the containers of mussels out of the refrigerator, discarding the ice.

In an empty large stockpot with the lid on, heating up over medium-high heat, add the mussels into the large stockpot. Immediately pour the whole bottle of Chardonnay right over the top and quickly replace the lid. After about 3 minutes, open the lid, give them a big stir using a spider, to see how they’re coming along. You want all the mussels to have opened before removing them from the pot. For 3 pounds it takes anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes. Times may vary slightly.

Once all the mussels are cooked, they’re ready for the ladling of the sauce. Oh yes, don’t forget to serve some crusty bread for dipping too! These are my Steamed Mussels With Tomato And Garlic Broth.

Mussels Two Ways

Mussels With Basil Garlic Bread Crumbs

 

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