Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crispy Greek -Style Chicken Sandwiches

I've always loved crispy chicken, but not so much when it comes to the fat and calories that come along.  So over the years, I've made different versions of "fried" chicken.  In a pan with oil, sauteed before baking, just baking with flour, some baking with egg and panko.  I've tried all of it.  When I fried it in the pan, it just came out kinda heavy and greasy.  And with flour, it still tasted too heavy.

This time, it worked.  The trick?  Egg and panko, and baking on a baking rack, rather than directly on the baking sheet.  It helped to eliminate one of the problems I'd constantly faced, the sogginess of one side of the chicken.

But rather than just plain breaded chicken, I decided I wanted a Greek flair.  This past year Brett and I went to Greece for our honeymoon.

Unfortunately, two weeks before the wedding I broke my ankle, so we were a bit stationary in Greece.  No hiking or walking around.  Mostly crutching.  But know what that meant?  MORE FOOD!  And we ate a lot.  And I tried to pick up on and remember the flavor profiles.

So I decided to use the yogurt sauce I made when I made the halal chicken as a substitute for tzatziki (personally...I like it more!), tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and a cucumber mash.  If you choose to do another kind of flavors, this chicken is pretty malleable.  But this combo, I'd be happy to order in a restaurant no problem.  And Brett's first reaction?  MMM!

2.5 lbs chicken breast
3 eggs
2 C panko
2 T oregano
2 T dried dill
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 oz feta
1 tomato
1 cucumber
2 lemons

Yogurt Sauce
2 garlic cloves
1 C 0% fat Greek yogurt
1 T light mayo
2 T honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 T lemon juice
2 T dried parsley
1/2 t salt
1 t ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°.  Prepare the panko and the eggs.

Mix the panko with the oregano, dill, salt and pepper.

Also beat the eggs well.  Using a piece of wax paper over the chicken, pound into 1" thick breasts.

Once the chicken is pounded, cut each breast in half so that you have 8 breasts.  Dip the breast into the egg and then into the panko coating well.  Place a baking rack over a baking sheet.

Put the chicken in the oven.  The chicken should bake 35 minutes, but check with a meat thermometer to make sure it is at least 160° internally.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the yogurt.

Mix all the ingredients well and put in the fridge to cool.

To prepare the cucumber, slice off the ends of the cucumber.

Cut the sides off and create a rectangle shape and cut thin slices of the flesh off until only a core of the seeds remain.

Chop the core into small pieces and mash in a small bowl with 1 T of lemon juice.  Cut the feta into about 1/4" thick slices.

Cut the tomato into similar size slices.

Take the chicken out of the oven to cool for a few minutes.

Toast the buns, and then stack in this order: one side - yogurt sauce, some of the cucumber mash, tomato, slices of the cucumber.  On the other bun add 2 slices of feta.  Add the chicken and smoosh together.  Yes...the culinary term of smoosh.  You can also serve some extra yogurt on the side for dipping.  Mmmm.  Enjoy!

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