People don’t understand that you can’t just “cook” something. Its actually kind of ridiculously hard for me to cook on whim. You see, I’m the kind of cook that has to do research before I can even cut into an onion.
But of course, I could never turn down a entree request 2 hours before a movie night, especially when I had nothing planned whatsoever. My friend Jocelyn demanded me to make chicken katsu. Secretly happy because I was having an unorganized moment, I obliged. About three seconds later, I realized I had no idea what I just got myself into.
At first I was worried about not having a deep fryer. Then I remembered that its easy to just substitute with a heavy pan, or if they have one, a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skilled, this may be a good time to purchase one – every good kitchen should have one!
After purchasing chicken and some other ingredients for side dishes I headed home, only to realize that I didn’t have the right bread crumbs. Improvisation! I went with italian herbed bread crumbs… and it turned out ok. The overall process was really simple and straightforward. Just make sure to watch the chicken – don’t burn it.
On another note, when I first made this katsu, I had no thermometer to test the oil temperature. So, I resorted to the same way my grandmother taught me many years ago – when the oil is heating up, stick a chopstick into it. If it bubbles rapidly the oil is ready. If it slowly bubbles or it bubbles vigorously, the oil is too cold or too hot.
This was one of the first times I deep fried something on my own. Don’t worry it wasn’t that bad. I found the easiest way to get everything done was to have an assembly line set up. Wear something long sleeved, and remember that cast iron skillets get hot. I keep a wet towel on the handle to remind me that theres hot oil.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten (I ended up needing 2)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup oil for frying, or as needed
- Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour, egg and panko crumbs into separate shallow dishes. Coat the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them into the egg, and then press into the panko crumbs until well coated on both sides.
- Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken, one or two at a time in the hot oil, and cook 3 or 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the inside registers 165F on the inside of the chicken.
- Let the chicken rest on a plate while you fry the remaining pieces of chicken.