Lemon Fried Chicken with Tart Salad Topping
- Yield 6 to 8 servings
Lighting Hanukkah menorahs reminds Jews that the tiny amount of olive oil the Maccabees used in their Temple, which was expected to last only one day, burned for eight days. To commemorate the holiday, olive oil is used to fry the chicken.
- 2 cloves large garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil for frying, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
- 1 3/4 to 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken cutlets, trimmed of fat and gristle and pounded to a uniform thickness
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup matzoh meal
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
- 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
- 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 cups sharp salad greens (a mixture of arugula, watercress, endive, radicchio, sorrel, flat-leaf parsley or purslane), washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
- Lemon wedges
- To prepare cutlets, blend together garlic, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat thoroughly, and refrigerate, covered, 1 to 2 hours.
- Beat eggs in a wide, shallow bowl. Stir together matzoh meal, remaining salt and pepper, and lemon zest. Spread on a large sheet of wax paper or plate. Dip each cutlet into egg, coating well on both sides. Let excess egg drip back into bowl. Dredge cutlets on both sides in matzoh meal mixture. Pat cutlets firmly on each side so matzoh meal adheres. Place on a rack and let stand 15 minutes for the coating to set.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add cutlets, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden and thoroughly cooked, about 2 minutes on each side. Add more oil if needed before cooking remaining batches.
- Transfer cutlets to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Keep warm in a 200F oven until all cutlets are done.
- To prepare salad, combine tomato, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Add greens and toss well.
- Serve cutlets topped with salad accompanied by lemon wedges.
Recipe adapted from Jayne Cohen’s Jewish Holiday Cooking.