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Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

Recipe from: Strada Cucina

Drive to South Carolina for an Italian feast at Strada Cucina.

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1 cup olive oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Place 1/2 cup olive oil and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Blend while drizzling in remaining oil to achieve desired consistency. (Pesto should be fluid enough to squeeze from a squeeze bottle, if desired.)

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup olive oil
2 slices prosciutto
2 slices provolone cheese
2 Ciabatta rolls
1 ripe heirloom tomato, sliced
1 handful fresh baby arugula leaves
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breast starting from the tenderloin side. Spread open on the cutting board. Cover the breast with plastic wrap, and using a meat tenderizer or heavy frying pan, pound the breast until it is about 1/2-inch thick.

Crack the eggs into a shallow dish large enough to hold the chicken breast. Add a splash of olive oil and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and stir vigorously.

Pour the breadcrumbs into a separate shallow dish.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil to cover bottom with about 1/4-inch of oil.

When the oil is hot, take the chicken breast and dip it into the egg mixture, covering it all. Let any excess egg drip off and press the chicken into the breadcrumbs and flip to cover both sides. Take the breaded chicken breast and place it in the hot olive oil. Pan-fry the chicken breast about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove chicken from oil and drain on paper towels or cardboard.

Split the Ciabatta rolls and toast. While the rolls are toasting, take the chicken breast and place on a griddle or in an oiled frying pan. Top the breast with the prosciutto slices and provolone cheese and cover with a metal bowl or lid to steam and melt the cheese. Take the toasted rolls and spread pesto on the bottom half. Place the chicken/prosciutto/cheese on the bottom half on the roll. Top with heirloom tomato slices and baby arugula leaves. Sprinkle with balsamic vinaigrette and place the other half of the roll on top. Enjoy.

Yield: 2 servings