Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Sunday Chef: Crispy Chicken Lollipops with Balsamic Truffle Glaze

-¼ teaspoon salt
-2 pounds chicken breast cutlets, cut into pieces
-3 garlic cloves, sliced
-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons butter, for the baking sheet

For the Cheesy Crumbs
-½ cup dried bread crumbs
-¾ cup Grana Padano, freshly grated
-2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the cutlets
-¼ teaspoon salt
-3 dozen bamboo skewers

1.) Pound chicken until it is about 1/2- to 2/3-inch thick. Slice the meat, (with the grain rather than across it) in strips roughly 2-inches wide and 3-inches long: you should get about 24 pieces. 

2.) Put the strips in a bowl and toss them with the salt, garlic slices, and olive oil. Let them marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably 1/2 hour, at room temperature. Meanwhile, set a rack in the upper third of the oven-nearer the top for browning-and heat it to 425 degrees.

3.) When the meat has marinated, lift out a few pieces and pick off the garlic slices. Drop the strips in the crumbs and roll them around, then pick them up one by one and press the crumbs so they stick to the meat on both sides. Insert skewer the long way through the meat, and make it stand up by pressing down in the meat so it looks like a lollipop

4.) Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the sheet back to front, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown on top and the meat is cooked through but still moist. Serve hot or warm with the dipping sauce.

This would be a great recipe for an appetizer or tapas night.  The meat turns out very tender and would be great with a number of dipping sauces.  I find this recipe to be very versatile since you can use a variety of meats to make the lollipop, and a variety of sauces to dip it in.  I used a balsamic truffle glaze I purchased when I was in England, but many flavors would go great with this chicken.  An easy fix and great recipe for the picky eaters.

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