Kotlet De Volaille, a delicious and traditional Polish dish, is the perfect choice for anyone looking to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Poland’s culinary heritage. Known for its juicy, tender chicken, crispy breadcrumbs, and irresistible melted cheese, this dish is sure to be a hit with everyone at the table.
Let’s dive into the world of Kotlet De Volaille and learn how to create this fantastic dish from scratch, using step-by-step instructions and helpful tips. But first, let’s take a brief look at its history and origin.
The Story of Kotlet De Volaille
Kotlet De Volaille, or „chicken cutlet” in French, is a dish that can be traced back to the 19th century when French cuisine had a significant influence on Polish cooking. Despite its French-sounding name, Kotlet De Volaille has become a staple in Polish households and is now considered a traditional Polish dish.
Now, let’s get started with the recipe!
For the Chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 thin slices of ham or prosciutto
- 4 slices of Swiss or Gouda cheese
For the Breading:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Lemon wedges
- Prepare the Chicken Breasts
- Begin by laying the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to carefully butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting horizontally through the center, leaving one side attached. Be sure not to cut all the way through. Open each chicken breast like a book, and cover them with plastic wrap.
- Using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, gently pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Kotlet De Volaille
- Place two slices of ham or prosciutto on each chicken breast, followed by a slice of cheese. Fold the chicken breasts in half, enclosing the ham and cheese. Press the edges together to seal. You may use toothpicks to secure the edges if necessary.
- Bread the Chicken
- Prepare your breading station by placing the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes. If desired, mix the paprika and garlic powder into the breadcrumbs for additional flavor.
- Dredge each chicken breast first in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it in the beaten eggs, and finally coat it with the breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to ensure an even coating.
- Fry the Kotlet De Volaille
- In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F (175°C). Carefully place the breaded chicken breasts into the skillet and fry for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. You may need to adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the breadcrumbs from burning.
- Serve and Enjoy
- Transfer the cooked Kotlet De Volaille to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Remove any toothpicks used to secure the edges. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges on the side.
Tasty Side Dishes to Serve with Kotlet De Volaille
- Placki Ziemniaczane (Polish Potato Pancakes): These crispy, golden potato pancakes are a delicious and traditional Polish side dish that pairs beautifully with the flavors of Kotlet De Volaille.
- Kasza (Buckwheat Groats): This hearty and nutty-tasting grain is a staple in Polish cuisine and makes a great alternative to rice or potatoes.
- Warm Beet Salad: A warm beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette adds a touch of earthiness and sweetness that complements the rich flavors of Kotlet De Volaille.
- Pierogi (Polish Dumplings): Serve some homemade pierogi filled with potatoes, cheese, or even sauerkraut for a true Polish culinary experience.
- Kapusta Zasmażana (Fried Sauerkraut): A side dish of fried sauerkraut with bacon, onion, and a touch of sugar adds a perfect tangy contrast to the rich Kotlet De Volaille.
Helpful Tips and Variations
- To ensure even cooking and avoid overcooking the outer layer, it’s crucial to pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness before assembling the Kotlet De Volaille.
- For a lighter, healthier version, you can bake the Kotlet De Volaille instead of frying them. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the breaded chicken breasts on a lined baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, or until they are cooked through and golden brown.
- For a vegetarian twist on the traditional Kotlet De Volaille, consider using thick slices of eggplant or large portobello mushrooms in place of the chicken breasts.
Storing and Reheating
- To store leftover Kotlet De Volaille, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the Kotlet De Volaille on a baking sheet and heat for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through and crispy on the outside.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What type of cheese is best for Kotlet De Volaille? Swiss or Gouda cheese are the most commonly used types of cheese for this dish, but you can also try using other varieties such as Emmental, Edam, or even mozzarella.
- Can I use other types of meat for Kotlet De Volaille? Yes, you can experiment with other types of meat like turkey or pork. The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the meat.
- Can I make Kotlet De Volaille ahead of time? Absolutely! You can prepare the breaded chicken breasts up to a day ahead and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Be sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
- How can I make the breadcrumbs stick better? Make sure to press the breadcrumbs firmly onto the chicken breasts to ensure an even coating. You can also let the breaded chicken rest in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes before frying to help the breading adhere better.
- Is it necessary to fry the Kotlet De Volaille? Can I bake or air-fry them instead? Frying the Kotlet De Volaille gives it a crispy, golden exterior. However, you can also bake or air-fry them for a healthier alternative. Be sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.
Kotlet De Volaille is a scrumptious and satisfying dish that showcases the delightful flavors of Polish cuisine. Its crispy exterior, tender chicken, and melted cheese center make it a meal to remember. By following this detailed recipe, you’ll be able to recreate this Polish classic in your own kitchen and impress your family and friends with a delicious and authentic culinary experience.