SAUTE OF BONED AND HERB-BREADED CHICKEN BREASTS
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (parsley, dill, or basil)
1/2 cup ground walnuts (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
To clarify butter, melt it slowly over heat or in the microwave. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then gently skim off the white layer of casein that has surfaced and discard it. Carefully spoon out and reserve the thick golden layer of butter that constitute the middle layer of the liquid butter. Pour out the milky whey residue at the bottom. (Refrigerate unused butter after completing this recipe.)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Remove the tendon from the underside portion of the breasts. If breast pieces are thicker than 3/4", pound them with a rolling pin between layers of plastic wrap until they are flatter more uniformly thick.
Combine and blend the breadcrumbs, herbs, and walnuts in an 8" pyrex pie plate. Stir salt and pepper into flour on a flat plate. Beat egg with water on another plate until they are well mixed. Coat the breasts first with a light, even coating of seasoned flour. Dip them next in the egg, let the excess drain. Finally, coat them thoroughly in the seasoned crumbs. (Breasts may be placed on a lightly oiled plate at this point, tightly covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet large enough to comfortably hold the breast pieces. Wait until the fat sizzles when the chicken is placed in it. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, turning them over mid-way into the cooking process. When surfaces are nicely browned, lift breasts to an oven-proof serving platter or sheet cake pan. Place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. You can check for doneness with your fingertips. The meat will spring back to the touch when cooked through.
Let the breast pieces rest for 5 minutes. Serve on warmed plates with garlic mayonnaise and potatoes. Both recipes follow.
Yield: 4 servings
GARLIC AND HERB MAYONNAISE
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons packed herb leaves (parsley, dill,or chives or mixed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg and large yolk at room temperature
1-1/2 cups corn or canola oil
1/4 teaspoon tabasco
1-1/2 tablespoon boiling water
more lemon juice to taste
Combine the garlic, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper and eggs in the workbowl of a food processor or blender. Process for 30 seconds.
With the machine running, pour in the oil in a thin, steady stream. Add the tabasco, turn on the machine, add the boiling water, then continue running for 5 seconds more. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary for balance.
Refrigerate the mayonnaise until serving time