Lemon Chicken Cutlets with Arugula, Orange and California Fig Salad with Chef Lia

On the Menu:

Lemon Chicken Cutlets with Arugula, Orange and California Fig Salad

We were so excited to have Chef Lia back again to teach other class! This week we decided to make a dish that would give us a little bit of a Spring touch since we just entered the Spring season. We also had some USF students that came into class to learn too for one of their class assignments, so we had a full class!

To start off, Chef Lia really wanted us to learn how to properly wash our greens. She demonstrated by placing the arugula into a bowl of cool water and swished it around. This allows the sand/grit to come down in the water! People normally miss dirt when just rinsing with a faucet! QUICK TIP: Don’t leave the greens in the water too long because the water will take out all the flavor!

She also shared knife etiquette for the kitchen! When you’re chopping anything on a board, turn your hand into a “C” shape so you can safely cut food instead of your finger! Also when you’re walking with a knife anywhere, remember to hold the knife pointed down to the ground at the side of your body.

We then started off with zesting the lemons and oranges. QUICK TIP: If you don’t have a zester, you can use a peeler or a knife to take off the colored part of the fruit. Try not to get the white part, it doesn’t have the flavor we want. Then you can finely chop it into tiny pieces.

After we were done with the oranges, Chef Lia showed us how to cut off the sides of the orange and take out nice segments so it could be pretty in the salad!

We had to cut in between the white parts of the orange to get small slices to put in the salad! Then we took the leftover part with the white and squeezed the juice into the bowl.

We then sliced the figs into nice small pieces. Don’t forget to cut off the stem off of the fig before you dice it, it’s super chewy.

We then just tossed them into the bowl of orange slices that we carefully cut out.

Chef Lia showed us that we had to cut against the grain of the chicken breasts and into medallion shapes. Our class had fun tenderizing the chicken, a mini stress reliever! QUICK TIP: You can use the back of a knife, pot, or pan to tenderize the meat if you don’t have a tool to pound the chicken.

Onto another fun part, breading the chicken! Chef Lia had 3 separate bowls with the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. QUICK TIP: Chef Lia told us to keep one hand for dipping the meat into dry ingredients and the other hand for wet ingredients! Then we pan fried the chicken until it was beautifully browned and crispy.

We could finally plate the dish! The chicken was placed down first and then we tossed the salad and topped the chicken with it.

The orange and the figs really complemented each other in the salad along with being super refreshing! The chicken was also so crispy and went great with the salad! You all should definitely try it out and we’ve listed the recipes below if you need it. Please share it with us on Instagram @cooking_project or #thecookingproject!

Arugula and Orange Salad Recipe:

3 navel seedless oranges
1/2 cup figs, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
10 cups arugula

  • SALAD: Cut top and bottom ends off of the oranges to reveal the colored flesh.
  • Using a small sharp knife, cut off the peel and white pith from top to bottom of the oranges.
  • Cut the sections from the oranges by cutting in between the membranes, place these pieces into a bowl.
  • Then squeeze the juice from the membranes adding to the bowl.
  • Save 3 tablespoons of the orange juice for vinaigrette.
  • Add sliced figs to the oranges and set aside.
  • VINAIGRETTE: Whisk together orange juice, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
Lemon Chicken Cutlets Recipe:

1 3/4 pounds chicken breast, skin and bone removed
1 cup flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup grated grana padano (cheese)

  • Cut each chicken breast into 3/4 inch pieces.
  • Place each piece between two pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap and then pound the chicken breast into 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness.
  • Place flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place eggs, salt and pepper in a second bowl and whisk well together.
  • Place bread crumbs, oregano, lemon zest, Grana Padano (cheese), salt, and pepper in a third bowl.
  • Dip both sides of the chicken in flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Next, dip the chicken in egg mixture, letting the excess drain.
  • Dip the turkey in the bread crumbs to coat each side. Tap the excess.
  • Side aside in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • In a large frying pan over medium high heat, warm olive oil and melt the butter. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer.
  • Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes total.
  • TO SERVE: Place chicken on a platter. Toss the arugula, oranges and figs with vinaigrette. Top the turkey with the salad and serve immediately garnished with orange and lemon wedges.

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