This is a review of a Blue Apron meal shipment that I received complimentary. These are my personal opinions and may not reflect the opinions of Blue Apron. Enjoy! The post does contain affiliate links. Also each photo was taken with my Motorola Moto E XT1526 phone.
The final dish I cooked up from my complimentary book of Blue Apron meals (read all the reviews here) was the Crispy Chicken Milanese with Warm Brussel Sprouts and Potato Salad. Milanese is an Italian name. It covers any meat that is breaded and fried in a small amount of oil - not deep fried. The meat is slicing or pounded out thin. The chicken breasts that came with this recipe were on the thinner side. This will help the meat to cook faster and the breading not to burn. The meat is juicier too if you cook it faster. Most of the time when I cook boneless skinless chicken breasts I use a mallet to pound them thinner - even if I am not going to bread the chicken. I originally learn that trick from Alton Brown from making his Chicken Kiev dish - which is whole another dimension of yum!
I am red-blooded American, so of course I was excited about breaded chicken. I certainly ate enough of it growing up. The side dish of Brussel sprouts and potatoes is just as exciting for me now, not as much when I was a kid. ANd I don't have to heat up a bunch of oil to deep fry the chicken. Sign me up. I was ready for this meal, and expected it to go off without a hitch.
The only thing about the meal that I had any reservations about before hand was the celery. I am not a huge celery fan so I wasn't sure if I was going to like in the warm salad or not.
Here is the list of ingredients for this recipe. To get all the full instructions, check out Blue Apron's website. They also have a video on there about how to properly salt your water. This is a great way to add seasoning to your food while it's cooking and prevent you from over salting at the dinner table.
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cage-Free Farm Egg
¾ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
5 Ounces Brussels Sprouts
2 Stalks Celery
1 Russet Potato
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Shaved Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
What I Liked About This Recipe
First off, I loved that this recipe used Panko breadcrumbs. In case you don't know what Panko is, it is a form of breadcrumb that was made popular in Japanese cooking. It differs from standard breadcrumbs as the texture is more flake than crumb. This gives Panko two huge advantages:
1. It cooks up more crunchy due to it's lighter, more airy texture.
2. It does not absorb oil as much as standard breadcrumbs. Again this helps the crunch factor.
The chicken did not disappoint at all. It was crisp, moist, and juicy. The warm potato salad went with it very well. I like taking a bite of the chicken with the potato as the contrast between the crunchy chicken and soft potato was a delight. The celery in the salad that I had some reservations about, turned out to be fine. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to include in if I made this side dish again but I did not mind it being there at all.
The flavors of the warm salad were good. I like the combination of Brussels sprouts and potatoes. It reminds me of Irish Colconnon, which is mashed potatoes with cabbage mixed in. I make that for every St. Patrick's Day and sometimes I use Brussels sprouts instead of cabbage.
Overall the dish meet my breaded chicken cravings but in a little more sophisticated and probably healthier way. It wasn't the fried chicken meal of my youth and I think that is a good thing.
What I Didn't Like About This Recipe
Our family does not like raw onions or shallots for that matter. If I to go to a restaurant I ask to either leave the raw onions off or if they could caramelize them. For this recipe I wanted to stay true to the recipe, so we tried it with the raw shallots. I was still managed to eat the warm Brussels sprouts and potato salad they were, but after a couple bites my wife just couldn't do it.
What I Might Do Differently
Well obviously I would have caramelized the shallots first. The method for cooking the Brussel sprouts by pulling off the leave did work to cook them quickly. The process of pulling each leave off was annoyingly slow. I probably would just shred them next time by placing them into my food processor with the proper disk attachment (it is what I did in this recipe for Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon)
If Offered, Would I Select this Meal Again
Oh yes. It was delicious and super simple to make. I really appreciate that the chicken did not need to be pounded out first, it was ready to go. Any time I can save not handing raw chicken is a blessing.