Thursday, December 24, 2009

Eric's Kitchen in Jersey City: Lemon Pepper Chicken

This is a recipe I learned while working in the kitchen of The Daniel Packer Inne (or DPI to the locals), in Mystic, CT. It was after my first year of college, I quit an internship in NYC where I was basically a free delivery service for a video editing studio and I wasn't get paid. So I went home and all the jobs waiting tables were already taken so I went to DPI and they put in me in the kitchen since I had experience as a prep chef and dishwasher at another local restaurant. The experience was humbling but I learned a great deal that summer. Two of the things I learned were how to make some great mashed potatoes and how to make the breadcrumbs for one of the house favorites, lemon pepper chicken. The head chef would make it often for the kitchen workers as our meal for the night and it was by far my favorite part of working there. After that summer I perfected making the dish at home and it's been a stand-by for me ever since. It was even the first thing I cooked for my girlfriend Jenn on our second date. And she's still with me 4.5 years later so it must have been good!

Here's what you'll need for the chicken and taters:
1lb chicken
5 medium sized red potatoes
1/3 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/3 cup flour (I use whole wheat flour now)
1 lemon
minced garlic
olive oil
cracked pepper
2 egg whites
cajun seasoning
Parmesan cheese

The first thing I do is start boiling the potatoes. They take a while. Then I season the breadcrumbs with fresh cracked pepper and zest from the lemon. You can use a fork, peeler or cheese grater to get the zest from the lemon peel. Your end result should look something like this. I have some multi-colored pepper corns in my pepper mill if you're wondering why there is red stuff in my mix.

The next step is to dredge your chicken with some flour, then egg whites and then your breadcrumb mix. Get some olive oil hot in a frying pan and then let it get nice and browned.

On to the potatoes. Your potatoes should be soft enough that you can mash them with a fork. I am all about simplicity and so I leave the skin on (make sure you wash them) and just start mashing them with a fork and add milk, minced garlic, butter, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a little cajun seasoning. The more milk you add the smoother the potatoes will be. If you end up making too much (I always do), add a little milk when you reheat them. I basically season it until it's declicious. This is what it looked like tonight before I started mashing.

So one last touch if this isn't already decadent & unhealthy enough for you. You can slice the chicken a bit and add a little warm milk and butter (heat them up together) on top like a gravy. This is how they served it up at DPI and it they always did it really well. See the picture at the top for reference. I plated it with some broccoli, steamed over chicken broth with some pepper, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great, especially the breading on the chicken. Also like the presentation. I look forward to trying it.

    Also, not sure which chicken you use, but I recommend Empire Chicken breasts. They are high-quality kosher chicken.


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