I think we can all agree that chicken cutlets are about the dullest food out there, but chicken cutlets were in my fridge and so chicken cutlets I attempted to enliven. Hoping to drive away the frozen rain that's been falling all evening, I opted for the brightest, sunniest alternative I could think of: this bright and crunchy fennel, radish and citrus salad heaped over marinated and broiled chicken cutlets.
The original Daniel Boulud recipe, which I found via Food & Wine, paired the salad with broiled red snapper and I very much would have preferred snapper for my dinner, but once I got home I knew there was no chance I'd be heading back out to the fish store. So the cutlets had to do. I marinated the chicken for about 40 minutes in a quick marinade I whisked together of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), lemon juice (juice of one lemon), salt, pepper and a small bunch of chopped mint leaves. (Note: chicken cutlets are thin and start turning into chicken ceviche when marinated in citrus for much more than 40 minutes. Gross.)
While the chicken marinated, I made the salad, cursing briefly when I realized that I forgot to get a jalapeño at the grocery store. I'm such a huge fan of all the flavors in this salad that I have no complaints - crunchy fennel and radish plus yummy grapefruit and naval orange segments are all enough to please me, in any form. It certainly brightened the night a bit, even though part of me wished it was a giant bowl of rigatoni in meat sauce, or some other equally carb-heavy comfort food.
As for the chicken, it was...fine. It was chicken. The salad was delish and did its best to make chicken cutlets more exciting, but I would strongly encourage you to try this with the red snapper instead!
Broiled Chicken with Citrus and Fennel Salad
(adapted from Food & Wine, October 2006)
- 4 small radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and shaved paper-thin
- 1/2 small red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced (I wish I had remembered this!!)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon snipped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded mint leaves
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 navel orange
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Four chicken cutlets, marinated for 30+ minutes in olive oil, lemon juice and mint
Set the chicken on a baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 4 minutes on each side. Using a spatula, transfer to plates. Top with the salad and serve.