I am not a fan of chain restaurants, as I have said in the past, we try to support privately own restaurants. We have found that it is usually where the best and most interesting food happens to be. HOWEVER….a few years ago my husband and I decided to go have lunch at Applebee’s. Why we chose this particular restaurant is unknown, I guess we had gone through the whole: “where do you want to eat?” “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” “I don’t care, what do you think?” “I don’t care either, what are you craving?”….and on and on….to be honest this little verbal food dance happens too often at our house. It seems no one wants to make the final decision and/or be responsible for a crappy meal!
But we ended up at Applebee’s and back then (somewhere around 2005-2006) Tyler Florence had teamed up with the restaurant to “spruce” up their menu. I was actually impressed with the selection. I opted for a Herb-Crusted Chicken with an Italian Country Salad. The only reason I know the exact name is because I just spent/wasted 1 hour on the internet looking for not only the name but possibly the recipe….NO luck! Well, I guess I did figure out the name! It was really delicious, so much so that a few months later (we don’t go out that often!) we decided to go out for supper. I thought: “I need to taste that dish again to make sure it was as good as I remember”. THEY TOOK IT OFF THE MENU! Too fancy the waitress told me…WHAT!? That is the craziest thing ever. Well, a few months (or maybe a year who knows) Tyler and Applebee’s parted ways….
So I, after all this time, still haven’t forgotten that dish. It was lovely. I can’t remember the exact salad dressing but it did have some Parmesan….I think. Anyway, this is my version of what was a delicious dish.
2 pound chicken cutlets or breasts cut into bite size pieces
3-4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh herbs chopped finely
Balsamic Vinaigrette (see below for recipe or your favorite store-bought brand)
cherry tomatoes (during the winter months you could use sun-dried tomatoes in oil…be sure to drain well first)
mozzarella ciliegine/cherry size (small little mozzarella balls) or fresh mozzarella cubed 1-inch
In a shallow plate put your beaten eggs. In another large plate combine your breadcrumbs, Panko, Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Coat the chicken pieces with the beaten egg (shaking to remove any excess) and roll the chicken in your breadcrumb mixture. In a large non-stick pan add 2 tablespoon olive oil. Make sure your pan is very hot and then add your coated chicken pieces. Immediately turn heat down to medium. Do not overcrowd your pan. (see pics) Cook 2-3 minutes and then turn your chicken to cook on the other side. Only turn the pieces once. Cook for another 3 minutes. Remove to a side plate and cook remaining pieces the same way.
Time to build your salad. Place your arugula in your plates, top with cherry tomatoes, next your mozzarella and finally your chicken. I like to top with my warm chicken, it will slightly melt your cheese and wilt your arugula but that’s the good part! Drizzle your vinaigrette over your salad and enjoy.
Balsamic Herb Vinaigrette:
Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens Vinaigrette recipe
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (today I had rosemary)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove crushed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Put all ingredients in a small mason jar with a tight lid. Shake well. Keep unused portion in refrigerator.
Note: I realize I didn’t give you exact measurement for the arugula, tomatoes and mozzarella but it is a salad after all….be creative and built it to your liking!
I LOVE this salad. See:
Printer Friendly: Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Arugula Salad
Peace and Fancy,