Friday, August 14, 2009

Rainy Summer Night... A Little Heartier Dinner

It was raining outside (or at least threatening to rain), there was red cabbage left over from making fish tacos and some farmer's market potatoes lying around, I felt the urge to make a more hearty dinner. Braised sweet and sour red cabbage (thanks to a slightly modified recipe from Simply Recipes), roasted potatoes, a pounded breaded chicken breast (chicken schnitzel, chicken milanese).

Ingredients
- 1 head of red cabbage, remove outer layer, slice thinly
- 1/2 stick butter
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup Lustau Pedro Ximenez sweet vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper corns

- chicken breast
- 1 egg
- flour
- panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper

- small red potatoes
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- fresh flat leave parsley

Recipe
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the stick of butter, add the red cabbage, add the peppercorns and season with some salt. Soften the cabbage for about 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Add the sugar, stirring to coat, then add the vinegars. Cook the cabbage for about 30 minutes until soft and cooked through, stirring every few minutes. I definitely cooked my cabbage through, in fact some of the cabbage pieces were almost crunchy, which I actually really enjoyed.

For the potatoes, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees, and while the cabbage is softening (in the first 5 minutes), wash the potatoes and cut them into quarters lengthwise. In a roasting pan, coat the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the roasting pan in the oven until the potatoes are golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Turn the potatoes a couple of times throughout the cooking process.

For the chicken, set up three stations in shallow baking dishes with the flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), the beaten egg, the panko breadcrumbs. Prep the chicken by pounding the chicken breast in a piece of parchment paper (or cling wrap) until evenly about 1/2 inch thick. Salt and pepper the chicken and place it in the flour station. Toss the chicken in the flour until coated and dust off any excess. Coat the chicken in the beaten egg and place in the panko breadcrumbs. Flip the chicken cutlet a few times until fully coated with breadcrumbs. Over medium-high heat, in a non-stick frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken cutlet and cook until the first side is crispy and brown. Flip over the cutlet and cook the other side until crispy and brown. Remove from the pan and place on a couple of pieces of paper towel.

Garnish the potatoes and the chicken with some chopped fresh parsley.

This was a perfect warming, comfort dish. The crispy chicken cutlet always makes me happy. This was my first time cooking red cabbage and the flavors worked really well as a foil for the chicken: sweet, sour, almost caramelized.

Note: the red cabbage will serve 4 to 6 people, but this leaves enough for leftovers for me.

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