By Steph Farrar
If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose one dish to eat for the rest of my life, this is it. Chicken Milanese, breaded chicken, schnitzel, chicken nuggets, whatever you wanna call it. This is it.
Over the past several months, I've started a part-time organizing business, called Stay Focused Organizing. After an initial email blast to all of my friends and family, I've been able to secure several amazing jobs, helping organize not only their kitchens, closets, offices, and clutter-zones, but also assist in making space in their lives (and mind / soul) for growth in the areas that really matter. Initially, I thought to myself, after years of being a personal assistant, "yeah, I'm really good at getting people's shit together." But I really didn't expect that helping someone else get rid of stuff they don't need, stuff that gets in the way of everything, would help me begin to define my purpose.
Don't get me wrong, this is hard work. I'm pretty sure my back is out, my wrist has developed tendonitis or arthritis, and I know the Goodwill donation guy by first name. He's really sweet.
But, it's extremely worth it. All kinds of worth it. In fact, it's so worth it, I wanna keep doing it as long as my body can still manage. Still not sure why I didn't start this business three years ago when I was actively looking for work and became employed by Satan incarnate. Ah well... we live, we learn.
During the second day of a week long job for one of my first clients, while organizing her kitchen, fridge and pantry, she asked me about some of my recipes and if she could learn a few from me. So in addition to organizing, I've found the dream... purge, organize, clean, teach, and enjoy the fruits of our labor over a plate of delicious food... that's my kind of day. We surprised my client's lovely husband with a "schnitzel" like his grandmother used to serve as a real treat. We won all the things that day.
This is one of those recipes that you'll use for the rest of your life, and not just with chicken. "Breading" is a simple process that you can implement with other proteins like pork and veal, soft boiled eggs, and various vegetables. A lightly breaded zucchini bite with an aioli dip might blow your head off. So once you get this simple technique down, you can use it however you want. Just make sure everything is laid out from the beginning so your cook time is perfect for serving a hot plate of food.
Chicken Milanese with arugula parmesan salad
2-3 tbsp or a big glug of olive oil
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour (or sprouted whole wheat flour)
Salt and freshly ground pepper - I combine in one bowl
3 eggs, beaten
1.5 / 2 cups breadcrumbs, panko, or sprouted grain bread, toasted and pulsed
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp chopped herbs, like basil, thyme, oregano, parsley
2 cups wild arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken between two pieces of parchment paper and either beat with a mallet or roll flat with a rolling pin. You can also place the chicken in a plastic bag and beat it with a hammer. Whatever you have on hand! The thinner, the better. If you prefer your chicken thick, skip this step and add three minutes to your cook time. Place chicken on a large platter and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
Lay out three shallow bowls. Fill one with flour, one with egg wash, one with breadcrumbs. Add the grated parmesan, herbs, and lemon zest to breadcrumbs.
Heat oil in a saute pan or heavy bottomed pot.
One chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour first on both sides, egg wash, then breadcrumbs on both sides. You can place the breaded chicken on parchment paper at this stage, top with a second piece of parchment and press the breadcrumbs into the chicken by rolling a rolling pin over the covered chicken. But you can also skip this step.
One to two pieces at a time, add the chicken to the pot. Cook on first side for three minutes. Flip and cook for an additional three minutes. Flip one more time and cook for 30 seconds.
Place on a cookie sheet and let it rest. Continue with remaining chicken.
In a bowl, add arugula. In another bowl combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until emulsified. Line the bowl of the arugula with a bit of the dressing and gently toss with your hands. Arugula is very delicate.
Plate chicken, top with arugula salad and shaved parmesan. Maybe give it a little salt and pepper pop for additional flavor. Enjoy!
If you're interested in any organizing work in your home or office, please leave a comment and I'll respond with a list of services and price listing! Or go to stayfocusedorganizing.com!
Now pig out.