New Recipe Challenge of 2009

Im not a chef, but I play one on TV...

I'm not a chef, but I play one on TV...

So for those of you who know me, you know I’m not much of a cook.  I made the admission a month or so ago that I had used my oven for the first time in my apartment (I’ve lived here for over 18 months).  That being said, I’ve always wanted to cook more, (I have about 10 cookbooks) but I’ve been hard pressed to get inspired to cook for just myself.  So when a friend of mine started talking about how he had decided to cook more I thought, hey, I should take a hint and do that as well!

I figured the way to try and stick with this would be to challenge myself (and anyone else who would like to) to cook one new recipe a week.  So, the plan is to blog the recipe and how it turned out each and every week for this year.  I started on Sunday with a Sesame Chicken recipe I found in my Weight Watcher’s Dining for Two Cookbook.

Recipe

2 (5 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I used breast cutlets)

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 TBSP plain dry bread crumbs

1 TBSP sesame seeds

1/2 tsp cajun seasoning

2 tsp olive oil

1. Combine the chicken and buttermilk in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate, about 20 minutes

2. Preheat oven to 350 F

3, Mix together the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, and Cajun seasoning on a sheet of wax paper.  Lift a chicken breast from the buttermilk, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off.  Coat the chicken on both sides with the crumb mixture, pressing gently so it adheres.  Repeat with the remaining chicken; discard any remaining buttermilk and crumb mixture.

4. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until golden, 2-3 minutes on each side.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

This yields 2 servings and each serving is 281 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 1 g fiber.

So what I realized when doing this was that with cutlets you need more of the bread crumb mixture because they’re smaller pieces that you need to cover.  The cooking time is also different because of this.  Luckily I figured this out before it was too late  but if I do this recipe again, I’ll use halved chicken breasts.  To get a real crispy texture you have to make sure that you’re cooking the breasts in a well oiled skillet.  Some of the pieces were pushed off too far to the side so didn’t come out as crispy.  Other than that, I was really happy with the recipe.  I served it with asparagus grilled in a garlic white balsamic vinegar.

I did another recipe this evening but that’ll be saved for a later blog post.  I’ve already been told by a few people they want to see pics…I’m going to hold off on pics until I get a bit more confident with my skills.  Right now it definitely tastes better than it looks!

2 thoughts on “New Recipe Challenge of 2009

  1. That recipe sounds delicious. A good way to get a tender chicken breasts is to brine them. It can be done in under an hour or even overnight and once you fry/bake the chicken you get awesome crispy outside and juicy inside. Let me know and I’ll look up my brine mix.

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