Not too long ago I cooked up a dinner I hadn’t made in a very long time: chicken cutlets.
Now, OK, the main reason I hadn’t made cutlets in so long is that I’m lazy. But since I’d very recently been sent two delicious new foods to try out — gluten-free breadcrumbs from Tall Papa and gluten-free bacon BBQ sauce from Pigchaser — I decided it was time.
I’m very pleased to report that both items were deeelicious and so were the cutlets (“recipe” below). So without further ado, some more info on these new gluten-free foods:
Pigchaser is a relatively new gluten-free BBQ sauce line out of Illinois. Although it’s not super-easy to find in shops out of state, they do have mail-order. What I like about their sauces are all the things that are absent: gluten, of course, but also high fructose corn syrup and any weird thickeners or preservatives (note: there is some corn starch, these are not for those with corn sensitivities). What I particularly like about the bacon flavor is that bacon is the fourth ingredient. In fact, the fine folks at Pigchaser told me there was so much bacon that for the first time in American BBQ sauce history, the USDA had to step in and certify the product.
Post-cutlets, I’ve been enjoying the sauce on fried eggs, throwing a bit in my slow-cooker black beans and hominy, etc etc. There are also Original, Pineapple Mango, Habanero, and Garlic flavors, and although I can’t speak to them personally I imagine they are quite tasty.
Tall Papa’s breadcrumbs came to me from California, with a family recipe from old Sicily. I tried three flavors: Italian, Citrus Lime, and Cajun Spice. Although I like them all, I’m a sucker for the traditional and so the Italian was my favorite. Two kinds of cheese, millet, flax, sesame, parsley, and a handful of other interesting additions that made for a nice, complex taste and texture.
The Cajun and Citrus flavors had a finer crumb and flavoring that was present but not overwhelming. I’ve been saving half of the bag of Cajun for a wintery day when I feel like making a GF macaroni and cheese, as I think the two will go together like, well, macaroni and cheese. And I imagine the citrus lime would work well with fish, and might also make for an interesting coating for slices of fried eggplant or binder for turkey meatballs. A word of allergen-awareness: all the breadcrumbs have rice, egg, and xanthum gum. Some have soy and/or dairy, so if you have multiple sensitivities, be sure to read the ingredients before ordering.
Like Pigchaser, distribution is a bit limited at the moment but you can purchase the gluten-free breadcrumbs online through Tall Papa’s shop.
And now, if you’d like to relive my childhood, here is the semi-recipe for Babysitter Patty’s Chicken Cutlets:
chicken breasts, you can buy them already sliced into cutlet shape but I prefer not to
one or two beaten eggs in a medium-sized bowl
a dinner plate full of gluten-free breadcrumbs
an electric skillet or flat-bottomed frying pan with about 1/4 inch hot oil
a dinner plate full of paper towels
1. Use a sharp knife to discard any ‘icky’ parts of the chicken. Butterfly each breast as best you can and cut into 2-4 pieces.
2. Use the palm of your hand to pound on the chicken until it’s as thin as you can make it without tearing it. You can do this on newspaper if you’d like.
3. Dip a cutlet in egg wash (you can thin the egg with a few teaspoons of milk if you’d like) and shake off the excess.
4. Lay the cutlet on the plate of breadcrumbs; flip. Use a spoon or your hands to make sure the coating is even.
5. Gently slide cutlet into hot oil. Depending on the thickness of the cutlet, you’ll want to flip it in anywhere from 2-4 minutes. If you notice that the breadcrumbs are burning before the chicken is cooked through, reduce the heat of the oil slightly.
6. Remove from oil and place on paper towels. Blot to dry.
7. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
8. Take a plate of cutlets and a bottle of delicious BBQ sauce and eat with your fingers.
What are your favorite uses for breadcrumbs? And what’s your favorite BBQ sauce?