Looking for a quick (yet somewhat fancy schmancy) dinner the other day, I hit upon this idea inspired by a recent trip to Trader Joe's.
Strolling the inexpensively exotic aisles of TJ's, I found a bag of almond meal that I thought might make a pretty doggone good breading for pork or chicken. Not only that, thanks to one of my regular Costco trips, most of a giant-economy-size wedge of pecorino Romano patiently waited in the cold cut refrigerator drawer nearly begging to be used. (Why yes, you adorable hunk of deliciousness...of course you can come to the breading party.)
The idea was for the outside of the chicken to become a cross between crunchy toasted almonds and a crispy, cheesy frico*.
Okay, so I had golden planks of cheesy, nutty fried chicken sizzling away in in the hot skillet in front of me on the stove. It was a nice start, but it wasn't quite "schmancy" enough for me yet. What makes everything better? Butter. Better than that even? Wine. Mmmhhhmmm, now I was on to something. Oh that wine? From Trader Joe's in Cleveland. (Yes, there are some things that Cleveland does right!)
Once the chicken came out of the pan, a couple pats of butter went in, then a pile of sliced assorted "gourmet" mushrooms and finally a healthy splash - or tidal wave really - of white wine. Once cooked down a bit, the mushroom wine sauce turned an easy - yet fancy - fried chicken into a quite the almost-elegant weeknight dinner.
Although this one doesn't quite qualify as one of my quickies, it comes very close. Only seven ingredients and one pan still makes terrific weeknight dish in my book! And schmancy.
Almond Pecorino & Mushroom Chicken With Wine
- 1 C almond meal
- 1/2 C pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 T canola oil
- 3 T butter
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced across the width of the breast almost all the way through and open like a book (If yours come apart, so what? No biggie.)
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 3 T butter
- 1 C white wine - Chardonnay was the Two Buck Chuck choice of the day!
First, in a sturdy plastic bag, mix the pecorino and almond meal. Set aside. Season the chicken with Kosher salt on both sides, put them into the bag and gently turn and coat the chicken with the breading. Remove the chicken to sheets of wax paper and pat any remaining breading onto the breasts.
In a large skillet, heat canola oil and 3 T butter until good and hot. Gently lay the chicken in the skillet and brown well on both sides until both sides are crispy. Don't let them burn. Remove chicken to a platter and set aside.
Add the remaining 3 T butter to the pan and melt. Add the mushrooms and let cook for a minute or two; add the wine and stir well until the sauce is slightly thickened. Because the cheesy breadcrumbs are in the pan, the sauce will be rustic...that's a good thing!
*NOTE: Not sure what a frico is? Simply a pile of grated cheese - my fave is parm or pecorino - fried in a skillet or baked in the oven until crisp and crunchy. Print this post