Coming from a large Italian family, Sundays have always been centered around two things: Mass and Sunday dinner with the family. For as long as I can remember, we’d begin our day with 11:00am mass, inevitably run into cousins, aunts and uncles, and then congregate afterwards at my grandmother’s house. When we’d walk through the door, the scent of fresh sauce rose immediately to greet us, and we could hear the sound of meatballs or cutlets frying on the stove. It was just the beginning of my favorite day of the week where the family would come together to catch up with one another and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal.
Now that I too enjoy cooking, after learning everything I know from my Nonna Carmela, I’ve joined her in the kitchen to help prepare our Sunday meals. While we have always been incredibly close, this is one of the things that connects us and is one of our favorite ways to spend the day together.
I wanted to share a simple and easy to make recipe with you all for your dinners with your family. This meal is a go to in our family, as it is affordable and everyone likes it – even the picky eaters! Keep reading for this step by step recipe for chicken cutlet with a fresh green salad and a side of homemade ravioli!
Ingredients for Chicken Cutlet & Salad:
- -1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast,
- -3 eggs
- -Italian breadcrumbs
- -Romaine lettuce
- -Olive Oil
- -Red Wine Vinegar
On a wooden cutting board, cut the pieces of chicken in half, long ways, so that they are thinner pieces. Next, you will need to flat pie dishes (see photo). In one dish, crack the eggs and whisk them together. In the other, pour a generous amount of the Italian breadcrumbs. Then, have an empty plate on the side where you will put your breaded chicken. Using your hands or a fork, place the chicken in the eggs, turning it over to make sure both sides are fully coated. Next, place the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Make sure to pack on the breadcrumbs using your hands and ensure that both sides are evenly covered. Then, place the chicken on the empty plate. Continue to do this for all pieces.
Next, in a large sized frying pan, pour vegetable oil and a little bit of olive oil, enough so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered. Turn the burner on high heat. To make sure that the oil is hot enough, you can dip one edge of the chicken into the oil. If it sizzles and the oil bubbles, you are ready to go. Once the oil is heated, place the cutlets into the oil (usually about 3 at a time). Lower the heat as needed. Once the chicken is golden brown on one side, flip it to the other. Once the cutlets are an even golden/brown color, place the cutlets on a plate with a paper towel so that the paper towel absorbs any extra oil or grease. Continue until all pieces of chicken are complete.
If your chicken was still on the thicker side, you may need to stick them in the oven for a few minutes to ensure that they are fully cooked through. If so, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cook for about 10 minutes.
For the salad, I used fresh arugala, romaine lettuce, and radicchio. This salad is simple but full of flavor! In a large salad bowl, mix together the arugala, pieces of romaine, and sliced radicchio, which adds a nice pop of color. Then, add extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss together. Add salt and pepper as desired.
To balance out the meal, we made a side dish of homemade ravioli with ricotta filling, topped with marinara sauce and fresh basil. Whether you have ravioli, gnocchi or pasta, this quick and easy marinara sauce is the perfect topping.
Ingredients for quick sauce:
- -2 cloves of garlic
- -1 yellow onion
- -extra virgin olive oil
- -2 cans of crushed tomatoes
- -fresh basil
- -salt and pepper
In a large sauce pot, pour enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the base of the pan. Once the oil is heated, place your sliced onion in the olive oil and sautee. Once the onions reach a caramel color, add in the diced garlic, until both ingredients reach a golden color. Then, add in your cans of crushed tomatoes. Lower the heat and stir together. You can add a little bit of water as well. As the tomatoes mix with the garlic and onions, add in your fresh basil, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and lower the heat until the sauce is fully cooked and all ingredients are blended together.
This meal is great because it includes protein, carbohydrates, and fresh greens. As simple as it is, it always puts a smile on my family’s faces and keeps us full. While the food is great, what makes it even better is the people that you enjoy it with. Preparing a home cooked meal such as this one is at the heart and soul of our family and never fails to bring us together around the table, Sunday after Sunday.
I hope you all give this meal a try for your Sunday dinners for your family. Nonna Carmela and I had a great time in the kitchen cooking and preparing this meal!
From our kitchen to yours...
The Sweet Paisana
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