Chicken Katsu w/ Saskatoon Chutney

Chicken Katsu is simply a Japanese version of chicken cutlets. While it is great to enjoy a good dish, its worth knowing where the idea originated.

Katsu was first created in the late 1800’s by a restaurant in Tokyo that wanted to offer a European style meat cutlet. Now, katsu can be found everywhere from convenience store takeaway bento boxes to Western style Japanese food restaurants. The name ‘katsu’ comes from the English word ‘cutlet’. It is typically made from either chicken breasts or thighs coated in panko breadcrumbs.

Frying or baking chicken cutlets is simple, but its like cooking pasta, when you get it right, it changes everything. Breading helps to seal in moisture during the cooking time. Its a basic process that’s used for making everything from chicken to onion rings. Japanese panko crumbs are lighter and crispier, the secret to ultra-crunchiness which yields to the kind of crust that you can actually hear when you bite into it.

Since its ‘Saskatoon Berry‘ time here on the prairies, I wanted to make some saskatoon chutney to have with these crispy cutlets.

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Chicken Katsu w/ Saskatoon Chutney
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Rating: 5
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Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Saskatoon Chutney
  1. Combine all chutney ingredients in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, cook until mixture is the consistency of runny jam, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat & cool completely.
Chicken Cutlets
  1. Place chicken breasts between plastic wrap & carefully pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Season with salt & pepper. Coat with flour then dip in beaten eggs & lastly coat with Panko crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap & place in fridge for 15 minutes to chill before cooking.
  2. In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt butter & add oil. Place cutlets in a single layer in skillet & fry on both sides. When no longer pink inside & golden on the outside remove from skillet & blot on paper towel.
  3. Serve immediately with Saskatoon Chutney.
Recipe Notes
  • The standard breading technique includes three steps: dredging in flour, moistening in egg wash, then coating in crispy panko crumbs. The flour helps the egg wash adhere & the egg helps the breadcrumbs adhere.¬†
  • Once you have all the food coated, you will want to place it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will ensure the breading actually sticks to the food instead of falling off in the hot oil.
  • If baking, put breaded food on a rack set over a baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil & place in the oven. Bake until golden brown & cooked through.

Papaya-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Basmati Rice

Something that was quite apparent to Brion and I when we visited Cuba last year, was that pork and chicken were their favorite meats. It is said that Cuban food reflects the Cuban spirit. A hearty appetite for sweetness and the richness of life, respect for tradition and spiced with a spark of adventure. Although papaya is native to the tropical areas of Mexico as well as Central and South America, it is now cultivated in most countries having a tropical climate. The fruit goes by several names such as pawpaw, papaye (French), fruta bomba or lechosa (Spanish).

It is unclear as to how rice became central to Cuban cuisine, but for a Cuban, a meal without rice is simply not complete. Basmati rice is a unique strain of rice often associated with Asian and Indian cuisine as it originated in India. Characterized by its light nutty flavor and floral aroma, Basmati makes a good choice to pair with fish or chicken dishes. When cooked it retains its individual, non-sticky grains which allow sauces to coat well. Both brown and white varieties are available but brown will give a much deeper flavor.


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Papaya-Stuffed Chicken Breast with Basmati Rice

Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Cuban, Moroccan

Servings

Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
Chicken & Rice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  2. Using the tip of a sharp boning knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast through a 2-inch slit in the side. Place papaya slices into each chicken breast & sprinkle with cinnamon. Dip each breast into melted butter then into cracker crumbs.

  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken breasts in skillet & brown about 5 minutes on each side. Place browned breasts on baking sheet.

  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, then flip over & continue to bake until chicken is no longer pink in center about 20 minutes more. Meanwhile, bring rice & water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover; simmer until rice is tender & liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

Pineapple Sauce
  1. In skillet that was used to brown chicken, melt 1 Tbsp butter scraping up any brown bits. Stir in orange juice, pineapple, brown sugar & all spices. Reduce to medium & simmer until reduced, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low & continue to simmer until sauce is thickened. Serve the chicken breasts over rice with pineapple sauce spooned over top.

Amigos Birthday

Today, December 21st, a very special member of our family is having his 15th  birthday. He is ‘our’ little mini German Dachshund with the cute name of ‘Amigo’. My sister Loretta, adopted Amigo when he was only two months old so needless to say, their hearts have been well secured together.

Brion & I have had the incredible pleasure of being able to share in his life as well. On different occasions he stayed with us while Loretta had to attend to other things. It would usually take a bit of time at first for him to accept the idea she was gone temporarily. Then we would become part of his ‘pack’.

When I was growing up on the farm we had a Collie. I loved that dog but being a farm dog living outdoors, your interactions were only when you were out of the house. Until we cared for Amigo, I just had no idea what a privilege it is to be loved by a dog. Dachshunds are such a special breed. Amigo has left an imprint on my heart that will remain forever with me. Whenever Amigo is present, he brings such happiness and the perspective to enjoy the moment along with a dogs’ uncanny ability to understand humans and give so much unconditional love. We humans really need to learn some of these virtues.

As we watch him growing older, I find it so unfair that animals give so much and yet they still have to suffer the aches and pains of old age the same as humans. It seems they should be spared this ordeal.

Amigo is definitely a great source of pleasure to Loretta and I am truly grateful their lives were connected so long ago.

Two of Amigos favorite foods have always been cheese and chicken. Although he isn’t going to be having any, I’m putting a chicken meal on my blog today in honor of his birthday.

                                             HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMIGO!

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Cranberry-Gruyere Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts go from ordinary to extraordinary when filled with tart cranberries and Gruyere cheese.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Chicken & Stuffing
  1. Flatten chicken breast to a 1/4-inch thickness. In a small bowl, combine cheese & cranberries. Divide cheese mixture between breasts; roll up & secure with toothpicks.
Breading
  1. In a food processor, place walnuts & parsley; cover & process until ground but not over processed. Transfer to a shallow bowl; stir in bread crumbs, salt & pepper. In another shallow bowl, combine eggs & mustard. Place flour in a third shallow bowl. Coat chicken with flour, then dip in egg mixture & coat with walnut mixture.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with greased foil paper. Place breasts seam side down & bake for 35-40 minutes or until thermometer reads 170 F. Remove from oven; discard toothpicks & serve. This is real nice served with couscous & a veggie.