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Maple Mustard Panko Fried Chicken

June 10, 2009
Tuesday nights are usually lacking on the fun scale. It’s a Tuesday after all. You can’t even pretend that mess is something else/something better, and my typical view is to not even try and let Tuesday just be Tuesday so we can hurry up and get to Wednesday. Post haste. Particularly now that Center City Sips is back’on!

But, in my new “livin’ it up on days you don’t have stupid presentation class” philosophy, I was able to grab drinks and a movie with the lovely Olivia and Shaz, making this Tuesday rather atypical and awesome.

This was my second time at UP – can’t do Pixar without the boy* – but it’s just so cute and emotionally fulfilling as a film that forking over a second exorbitant amount of cash for my plastic true 3D glasses wasn’t so bad.In fact, it was awesome. 10 gold stars to Pixar for making a movie about a grumpy ol’ man and a chubby fo’ boy scout and making me fall in love. Again.**

Just. Go watch it. So we can discuss.



* If we had a pre-nup, it would be expressly written in it.

**If they ever decide to use their power for evil instead of good…I’m screwed.

But here’s the extra credit points to me – I came home from the movie at 9, all sappy and uplifted from my magical movie experience and threw together a damn good local-infused dinner for the boy, who I’ve been seeing (on average) 1.5 hours a day. Wow I miss him.

But, yeah, every now and then, I actually can make a really good attempt at seeming to have my shit together.

Firstly, and most easily, we grabbed spinach from our garden. If we haven’t already discussed, let me just tell you: the garden spinach is out of control. We need to discuss why I’m paying so much for spinach, like, EVER. And my tomato plants are already as high as their newly-purchased 42″ tomato cages. Norristown apparently is good for growing stuff…who knew?***

Anyway, I had what seemed like a rather large, colander-filling handful of greens, and a little bit of fresh thyme to start from. I figured the spinach was going to wilt up a whole helluva lot, so I grabbed the greens from my CSA beets to add a little bit more flavor and bulk to my spinach.

In a medium saute pan, I put a bit of persevered bacon fat in there, threw in a bit of sliced garlic, and then wilted the greens (spinach and beet greens) on top. Normally, I would’ve tossed in a bit of shallots or bacon, but my fridge – while well stocked from my CSA swag – is still hurting from me being away the last 4 weekends or so.

The garlic was from Maple Acres Farm, and the bacon was from the Reading Terminal Fair Food Stand – so all around, a fully local side dish that took less then 5 mins to put together. The main thing with this is to remove the pan from heat as soon as the greens wilt and then drain through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to get rid of a bit of the bacon grease. No one needs that much grease in their greens.

***Probably the legions of farmers that have been in Ntown for years and years and years.

The husband had the chicken all pounded and ready to go when I got home – I had received a whole chicken from Griggstown Quail Farm in the CSA last week and de-boned it right as soon as it defrosted for some really good looking chicken (and a carcass left over for some stock makin’).

I floured, egged, and breaded the boneless, well-pounded chicken breasts in a mixture of panko and food-processed baguette that I failed to use quick enough from Saturday’s market.

The maple mustard sauce was kind of incredible. Roughly 3 parts Djion mustard to 2 parts Spring Hills Farm maple syrup that I had from the Headhouse Square farmer’s market kick off. Then a little bit of thyme and brown sugar get whisked in for a really sweat, thick sauce, with a little bit of a bite at the end. I think I’ll use some grainy mustard as well next time to add a bit more texture, but omygod it’s delicious.

As soon as the chicken was good and brown on both sides, I smeared a really thick layer of sauce on each side, and then put the whole (oven safe) pan in the pre-heated 400 degrees oven for about 10-15 minutes to finish itself off. Delicious. And easy. Which makes it even more delicious.

Maple Mustard Panko Fried Chicken
Inspired by a few different online sources I need to hunt down again.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded
1 egg

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tblsp olive oil

Glaze
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Maple syrup

2 tblsp brown sugar

2 tsp thyme
salt & peper

In a small bowl, make the glaze by quickly whisking together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, brown sugar, and thyme. Set aside.

Mix flour with salt and pepper in a shallow plate. In a small bowl, On another plate combine egg.Place seasoned panko and bread crumbs mixture on a third plate. Dip the chicken into the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip into the egg mixture and lastly into the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat completely and evenly.

Heat olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet (NOT nonstick) over medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side, just until browned. Thickly brush the glaze on all sides and nooks and crannies of the chicken. If you barely coat the chicken, it just won’t have a lot of flavor, so don’t be shy.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced. Serve immediately.

Not local ingredients: olive oil, salt, pepper, panko, brown sugar.

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