Thursday, March 25, 2010

Laundry and Lemon Chicken Paillard with Mixed Greens

The laundry portion of this post first appeared in June, 2009 - I'm still not done.

I usually do laundry on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Yes, it takes me three days to do laundry, sometimes more. Not because there is sooo much, but because I really hate doing laundry.

It never ends.

First, you empty out all the hampers.
Then you haul it all downstairs to the basement (two flights) to the laundry room. My house is old so I don't have the luxury of having a laundry on the first floor.
Then it gets sorted. Whites, darks, delicates, towels, sheets, The Best Husband In The World's work clothes.

Work clothes get washed all by themselves because, well, because they are work clothes and they are filthy. Really filthy. If TBHITW has been out drilling wells (water, not the black stuff) they are beyond filthy.

I always do laundry in the same order. Funny how we are creatures of habit.

First the whites.
Then the darks.
Then the sheets
Next, the towels
Last, the stinky work clothes.

And I always forget about it. Three hours after the first load went in I remember, oh the laundry. I race downstairs to "switch" loads and three hours later I remember, oh the laundry. Two loads in six hours. No wonder it takes me three days.

Once everything is sorted and washed, everything has to be dried. Or hung to dry.
Once everything is dry, it all gets hauled back upstairs to be folded.

I always fold the laundry in the TV room. While I fold I watch the very little bit of television that I do watch. And what do I watch? The Food Network of course.

So here is tonight's dinner, courtesy of Tyler Florence* and my laundry, that still isn't done.

Lemon Chicken Paillard with Mixed Green Salad (serves 4)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 or 3 eggs, slightly beaten with a splash of milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Zest of one lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Dressing: (optional, a honey mustard or light Italian would go equally as well)

2 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks**
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup extra-virgin ollive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 bag baby arugula
1/2 cup shredded carrots
5 artichoke hearts, halved
1 head Romaine, sliced
Any other green you want to add
Lemon wedges for garnish

Begin by pounding out the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.
Hint: "pounding" is really not what you want to do. You want to "sweep" out from the center. Hit and sweep. You are really pulling the meat, not pounding it. You want a nice thin, even breast that will cook quickly and evenly.

Set up a breading station with 3 pie plates. In one place the flour, in the other place the egg and in the last, the panko. Season the flour, egg and panko with salt and pepper, add the lemon zest to the egg. Dip the chicken first in the flour, then the egg, then the panko. Set on a rack to dry for about 10 minutes.
Place about an inch of oil in a frying pan. Fry the chicken paillards in hot oil for approximately 3 minutes per side until crisp and golden. Drain well, season with salt and set aside.

For the dressing:
Put the anchovies, egg yolks, garlic, and lemon juice into a blender and process until smooth. With the blender running on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Stir in the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
Mix all your ingredients for your salad together, add dressing and toss to coat.

Place one paillard on a plate. Mound some salad on top. Garnish with a lemon wedge. Repeat with remaining paillard.

I'm serving this with a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread and a nice bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio.

Oh, and I still haven't put the laundry away. Sigh.

A Cook's Notes: If you are squeamish about raw egg yolks, use 2 tablespoons mayonnaise.

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