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Easy Meals For Busy Families - Chicken Katsu
Some days I'll come home completely exhausted, a baby or three in tow who are looking just as beat as I am. I can see their pouts and hear their whines: they are way past their daily outting expiration time and need dinner and a bath pronto. Add in the tummy growls and adult voice(s) chiming in, "What's for dinner?", I know I need to hurry. Chicken Katsu always seems to pop into my head. It's fast, easy, and makes quite a bit of food without having to worry about which picky eater will complain. Thankfully nobody complains about Chicken Katsu.
After getting the older kids settled and passing off the baby to the first adult who's arms are empty, I'm off to the kitchen to get things going. Even with continued cries, whines, screams, and adult conversations going on, I'm able to get this done and still manage to make a tossed salad or cook some vegetables in between cooking times. If you've got a wide range of ages of people and/or food preferences in your house, you may want to give this recipe a shot. Or if you've got a picnic, office party, or family function coming up, this dish is always a hit and doesn't require a large budget or a long period of time to cook. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.
- 6 Pieces Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 1/2 C All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
- 1 Tsp. Pepper
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Package Panko Bread Crumbs
- You will need 3 bowls (or dishes with a lip) that are about the same size (4-5 inches. A little larger will be fine, but may make your coating process a little harder). Mix flour, Salt, and Pepper in one bowl. Beat eggs in a second bowl. Pour Panko bread crumbs into the third bowl. Before starting to prep your chicken, you will want to heat up your deep fryer or frying pan with oil to medium high heat. If you are using a pan with oil, you do not need an excessive amount of oil, just enough to cover each piece of chicken at least half way up (usually about 1/4 - 1/3 of an inch of oil or so. You'll have to use your judgment based on the thickness of your chicken). Following are each step, broken down. *Tip: To keep my fingers/hands free of clumps of flour, I use one hand for dry ingredients only and the other for the wet ingredients.
- Step 1: Coat each piece of chicken thuroughly in flour mixture, making sure to get into each crevice, leaving no area uncovered. I usually do 2-3 pieces at a time & let them sit while I continue with the next step.
- Step 2: Take each flour coated piece of chicken and cover in beaten eggs one at a time, again making sure all areas of the chicken are covered. I suggest doing only one piece at a time as the egg will not stick well for very long.
- Step 3: Coat each flour and egg covered piece in Panko. To make sure each piece has a decent layer of breading, I like to cover both sides (top and bottom) with a decent layer of Panko (thick enough not to get any egg on your hand) and smash the chicken down. You do not need to use brute force here. You only want to smash it down enough that your chicken is covered in a layer of Panko thick enough to see with the naked eye. If you're in a rush and end up smashing your pieces down quite a bit, don't worry, it will be fine.
- Cook each piece at least 5 minutes (3-4 minutes per side if you're using a frying pan) or until they're a nice brown color. See pictures for color comparison. A semi lighter color than what is pictured is fine, but you'll want to cut into one of your pieces to make sure it is cooked thuroughly. Once finished cooking, make sure to let each piece cool for a couple of minutes. A suggestion to keep your chicken crunchy would be to let them cool on a wire wrack with a paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil or on a paper towel lined dish or pan. If you're using a dish or pan, you'll want to prop each piece up on it's side so that air can get to as much area as possible. Once you've completed cooking at letting each piece cool for a few minutes, it's time to enjoy!
- *Small Suggestion: Once finished cooking and cooling, I chop my pieces into smaller pieces so everyone can grab as little or as much as they'd like. This idea comes in handy if you're making Chicken Katsu for a picnic, office party or family function. It's always easier for me to fit everything into a container to transport and, again, give everyone the opportunity to grab as little or as much as they want.