Cooking with Rachael Ray – Brazilian Chicken Cutlets with Raw Tropical Sauce
When I first came to the US, I knew little about Indian cooking, and even lesser about how Americans prepare their meals everyday. My biggest educator was the Food Network. Like anyone who loves food, I was hooked! The one show I took an immediate liking to was 30 Minute Meals by Rachael Ray. Something tells me I wouldn’t have liked the show as much if it wasn’t hosted by RR. She is so easy to relate to, and has an knack for packing tons of flavor and nutrition into recipes that I think anyone can easily replicate.
So last week, when it was scorching here in the Twin Cities, and I really wasn’t in the mood for Indian food, I decided to leaf through my favorite cook-book ‘Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book’ while sipping on some ice-tea. I had seen a show of hers where she taught us how to butterfly and then pound a chicken filet flat. Honestly, the Raw Tropical sauce with mango appealed to me the most. A quick check in the fridge and pantry told me I had all the ingredients I needed. However, I wanted to amp up the spice level on the entire dish just a teensie bit and made a few modifications in RR’s original recipe to suit my taste.
Honestly, the funnest part was pounding the chicken flat The dish was incredibly easy to put together. I love the combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavors and added some lemon juice and a pinch of chili powder to the sweet mango and tomato ‘salsa’. I also skipped the Parmigiano Reggiano in the breading, and instead used garlic-flavored breading. Needless to say, I had a hard time photographing the final dish as I couldn’t wait to dig in a gobble it all up quickly. My husband only got a small bite
The recipe from her website is slightly different from the one in the book, but I have noticed that you can spin the recipe around as you like and it’ll still have tons of flavor and character. Here’s my version of RR’s recipe:
Mango and Tomato salsa
- 1 large ripe mango – diced
- 1 medium sized vine-on tomato – diced
- 2-3 tbsp of chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A pinch of chili powder
Mix all the above ingredients together and set aside in a bowl to allow the flavors to assimilate.
Crispy spicy chicken cutlets
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flavored bread crumbs – any you prefer
- 1/2 all purpose flour
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- Olive oil for cooking
- Several sheets of any plastic food wrap
- 1 heavy bottom skillet
Butterfly the chicken, then wrap it in a plastic food wrap, place on your chopping board, and pound the chicken flat with the back of the skillet, pushing out, from the middle and sides of the filet. Pound to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Prepare 3 bowls for the breading. One with the egg, lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water. Another with the flour, flavored with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin powder. A third bowl with the bread crumbs. First dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg, and then the bread crumbs. Make sure the filet is completely coated with flour, egg and crumbs respectively, in each step. Set aside on a plate for 10 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook the cutlets for about 5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. While cooking, press the cutlet down with a non-stick food-flipper to ensure they get crispy.
Once cooked, squeeze lemon juice on the cutlets and serve immediately with the mango salsa.
Do you enjoy Rachael Ray’s shows and recipes? Do you have a favorite recipe you make often?