For the past 2 summers, Ryan worked in the bag room, cleaning golf clubs and bags, at a country club just down the street. I was thrilled; it's the only job available within a mile of my house, so his commute was really easy - a big plus when work and school had to be balanced. Anyway, one of the things he loves about this job (besides good pay, meeting the pretty girls who work at the snack shack near the pool, and meeting important people from the area) is that there's an "Employee Meal" at 5PM or so each day. Evidently, the kitchen brought out whatever the chef felt like serving - be it an experiment, a mistake ("fish parmesan" anyone?) or just too much of the lunch special.
So, one night, Ryan came home and announced the the Employee Meal had been Chicken French, and I should make that. Soon. I told him that I never heard of such a thing; it sounded made up, and Ryan took great upset at my statement. So I did some research, and discovered that it is evidently an upstate New York thing; I then set about making my son happy.
(Inspired by Ryan)
Chicken, cut into strips (I used 3 pounds of boneless, skinless thighs)
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 tsp salt
10 turns of black pepper
2 eggs, beaten with 2 extra egg whites and 1 tsp water
1 tbsp white sugar
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
4 tbsp (4 cloves) minced garlic
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp low-sodium chicken base
1 cup water
1/4 cup cold water whisked with 2 tbsp cornstarch
In one shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, beat together the 2 eggs, 2 egg whites and 1 tsp water until smooth. Add the sugar and Parmesan cheese. Heat the olive oil in a large skilled. Dredge the chicken strips in flour, then coat thoroughly with the egg mixture, and saute in the skillet for about 4 minutes per side. (It took me 2 batches to do this; I removed the cooked strips to a plate, covered with my pan lid, and repeated the above.) Remove the chicken to a plate and cover it to keep warm, then melt the butter in the same skillet. Add the sherry, lemon juice, chicken base, and stir together. Whisk the cornstarch into the cold water, add to the skillet, and bring to a simmer, cooking for a minute after it simmers, until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken to the pan and cook for another few minutes, covered, until it's cooked through.
Top with lemon slices, let them heat in the pan for a minute, and serve with rice.
I made this twice in August, because Ryan loved it. Actually, everyone liked it, even Mark, our resident fussbudget. This recipe isn't exactly the ones I found online; to start with, they called for whole chicken breast, and didn't add the water, so there was almost no sauce. Still, my variation was well received, and that's what matters.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!