RECIPE / leafy chicken bites
EXPERIMENT: This dish is healthy, pretty, and substantial at the same time, which is the combination I am always looking for when serving guests, as the alcohol is flowing and we all want to stay beautiful. It starts out with breaded chicken cutlets, which are then cut into bite-sized pieces and wrapped in fresh spinach leaves. Adding a tiny spoonful of chutney before wrapping adds a densely-sweet spark. (click on photo to enlarge)
First, I marinated the cutlets in: sour cream, lots of cumin, fresh squeezed garlic, lots of lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne and a little Piri Piri condiment from Vervacious. Normally, I would have used yogurt in the marinade, but I had the sour cream and did not feel like leaving the apartment. So, the sour cream went in for the test. If you have ever marinated chicken in yogurt, you know that it changes the texture--meaning, it sort of pulverizes it, making it very soft and blown up. I am sure Harold McGee has a perfect scientific explanation for this...
To make the bread crumbs, I used a frozen leftover baguette, and grated it using a box grater (which is a mini workout). To the crumbs I added: grated Locatelli romano cheese, freshly crushed coriander seeds (more arm exercise, remember to switch arms), lots of oregano, amd Simply Organic garlic pepper.
After about 3 hours of marinating time I dipped the chicken with its creamy coating right into the breadcrumbs, seeing if I really needed to add egg. (Next time I will add the egg, because some of the crumbs began to fall off while frying.) Fried them in olive oil, and set on a paper towel to blot and get firm.
When they cooled off a bit, I took the spinach leaves and made the rolls. It tasted pretty good just like that, but my taste buds were craving a little surprise, which is when I decided to add the chutney. I had Stonewall Kitchen's Old Farmhouse Chutney, but also recommend The Virginia Chutney Co, which I wrote up in my Organic Spa Magazine column's March/April '09 issue.
Oh, and I think the sour cream worked just as well as yogurt, as far as softening...