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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Panko Chicken With Watermelon-Tomato Salad

Panko Chicken With Watermelon-Tomato Salad
Adapted from  Bon Appétit
  • 1 Cup watermelon, cubed
  • 1 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Cup cucumber, cubed
  • 2 Cups (lightly packed) baby arugula
  • 4 OZ feta cheese
  • 1/4 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice plus
  • 1/2 TSP kosher salt
  • 1/4 TSP freshly ground black pepper plus more
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 4-OZ chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8" thickness
  • 6 TBS vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 Lemon wedges for serving

This dish was inspired by a Bon Appétit recipe which actually uses pork cutlets, but chicken will work just as well instead.  I love the pairing of a crispy-breaded cutlet with a refreshing salad for a summer dinner.  Watermelon may seem like an unusual ingredient, but it's mild flavor really lends well to savory dishes - especially salads (you can even grill it too).  While the combination of watermelon and tomato with the arugula is delicious on it's own, I'm adding feta cheese and cucumber to put this salad over the top.  

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil, 1 tbs mustard, and juice in a small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Set salad and dressing aside.

Whisk eggs and 1 tablespoon mustard in a medium bowl. Combine panko, salt, and pepper on a large plate.  Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Dip in egg mixture to coat, then in panko (patting down to adhere).

Working in batches, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, adding 1 tablespoon vegetable oil after turning. Drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining cutlets.

Toss salad with dressing; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm chicken with salad and lemon wedges for squeezing over. 

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.