Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chicken Katsu

I came across this recipe on one of the blogs I follow, What's Cooking, Chicago?. I've made a few dishes from her blog and so far, everything has been delicious. We eat a lot of chicken and I'm always up for something new so when she posted this recipe, I bookmarked it as something to try.

This chicken is a Japanese inspired dish. Though the chicken is nothing unique (breaded and pan fried seasoned chicken breast), the homemade teriyaki sauce was a true winner. Who knew it was so easy to make at home? And for a fraction of the cost of a bottled teriyaki sauce! It was sweet and salty all in one sauce and so good. The chicken is extra crispy due to the cornstarch/panko breading and because you pound the chicken thin, it cooks very quickly. Perfect for a weeknight!

Chicken Katsu
Chicken:
1 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons mirin (I used water)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place the cornstarch in a shallow baking dish; the beaten eggs in another shallow baking dish; and the panko breadcrumbs in a third shallow baking dish.

Prepare the chicken by cutting each breast in half and pound to 1/2-1/4-inch thickness. Blot the pounded chicken dry with paper towels and season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dredge each chicken piece in cornstarch, then dip in the beaten egg, and finally coat with panko breadcrumbs. Place breaded pieces in single layer on a wire rack set over baking sheet and allow coating to dry about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 1/2 minutes. Lay the coated chicken pieces in a skillet; fry until deep golden brown and crisp on first side, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until meat feels firm when pressed gently and second side is deep golden brown and crisp, about 2 1/2 minutes longer. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm.

When all the pieces are finished and you're ready to serve, remove from oven. Serve with the teriyaki sauce drizzled on top or on the side.

Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir together the mirin (or water) and cornstarch until no lumps remain and then whisk it into the sauce in the saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup or takes on the texture of a glaze. Cover and remove from heat. Drizzle sauce over chicken or serve on the side.

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