One thing I miss from my pre-paleo days is breaded chicken. You know, dip a chicken breast in flour, then in egg, then in seasoned breadcrumbs, drizzle with olive oil and bake. It was just a tasty way to eat chicken, and Mike loved it too. I've tried a few different substitutes. I like a version with a shredded coconut coating, but it can be a little dry and Mike won't eat it because it's coconut. I tried the almond flour version that is pretty popular, but it was a pain to put together and the coating wouldn't stay stuck to the chicken whether I baked it or pan fried it. I wasn't all that motivated to find a way to make it work given that I'm trying to cut down on nut consumption.
So recently I tried something different. Arrowroot powder! This stuff acts kind of like cornstarch and I've seen it recommended (and used it) for thickening sauces and stews. So I figured I'd try coating chicken cutlets in it and frying them up in some butter. Actually, I tried it first with butterfly boneless pork chops and it was amazing! But it also created a huge mess, so last night a tried the "shake and bake" coating method and that helped a ton. Next I want to try it with pounded steak, as a kind of homage to my grandmother's amazing breaded steak. And I want to try the chicken as a base for chicken parmesan, with a nice garlicky tomato sauce and some spaghetti squash. Or picatta or milanese, or an Asian stir-fry - oh the mind reels with the possibilities.
Anyway, without further ado, here is my basic recipe. Enjoy!
Paleo pan-fried chicken(/pork/steak)
2 lbs chicken cutlets (you can just slice boneless chicken breasts thinly)
about 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
2-4 tbsp butter (can substitute coconut oil)
salt and pepper to taste
Put the arrowroot powder in a sealable plastic bag. Throw 3-4 cutlets in the bag, shake until coated, shake off the excess powder inside the bag, and remove cutlets to a plate. Repeat until you have coated all the cutlets.
Heat the butter till foaming in a big nonstick skillet. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until it's turning golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let rest for a few minutes.
You will probably need to cook the chicken in 2 batches, or you can just do what I did and use two pans. More dishes but less time. Use however much butter you need to coat the pan and get a good sizzle while the chicken is cooking.
Serve with a nice crunchy salad. Some sweet potato oven fries would be a great companion too. Please ignore the ketchup in the photo - I've been on a ketchup bender and I'm not proud of it. Substitute something healthier. :)