So, for those of you who have been following my blog, I am in Damascus, living in a hotel, shopping at the local street markets and using what I find to cook with. I am basically relying on simple, no fuss ingredients, which I guess is the way cooking should be.
But that doesn't mean you need to live on pasta, bread and rice (not that there is anything wrong with that). If fact, you would be surprised what you can cook up with a few basics. I already cooked up the Tomato & Egg Skillet, recreated my mom's Soy Sauce Chicken, and made a healthy, gourment Tuna Salad from stuff bought off the street.
Today, I cooked up a Chicken "Schnitzel." I use the term schnitzel very lightly to mean a thin, pounded piece of meat which is coated (usually with a mixture of flour and breadcrumbs), then browned in a pan (like the Beef Schnitzel I made earlier). In this case, however, I used chicken breasts and since I didn't find any commercial breadcrumbs in the street market and I don't have a blender to make breadcrumbs, I coated these chicken breasts with a mixture of quick cooking oats and flour.
The results were fabulous! It was a quick and satisfying meal, and quite healthy because they were coated with oats, used very little oil, and were finished off in the oven. The pounded chicken breasts were so tender, I didn't even need a knife to eat them! The best part, the leftovers! Straight out of the fridge, you can enjoy these leftovers as part of a sandwich, sliced over a salad, or just as is dipped in a little honey mustard! Now that's what I call easy cooking!
Tender Oat Crusted Chicken "Schnitzel"
2 large Chicken Breasts, bonless & skinless
Vegetable Oil for cooking
1/2 cup Quick Oats
1/4 cup Flour
1 tbsp Dried Herbs (Herbs de Provence, Oregano, Thyme.. whatever you like)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Butterfly the chicken breasts, by using a knife to gently cut the breast from the curved side inwards, being sure not to cut all the way through. Open up the chicken breast to create a "butterfly" shape.
Place the chicken breasts, one by one, in a plastic bag or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a heavy bottomed pot or a rolling pin, pound until they are about 1/2cm thick.
In a large dish, combine the wet ingredients, mixing well. In another large dish, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well.
Dip each chicken breast into the wet mixture, and then in the dry mixture, ensuring that the breast is completely coated.
Heat a large pan over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place both chicken breasts flat into the pan. Let cook for about 3 minutes per side or until each side is crisp and golden brown. (If your pan is not large enough for both, cook the first one, then add another coating of oil to the pan and cook the second one.
Place the browned chicken breasts on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for about 8 minutes (when cut in the middle, the chicken breasts should no longer be pink).
Serve with a selection of mustards. Goes great with mashed potatoes!