Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to bread better

Last week I finally risked making chicken Milanese.  It turned out great, but the breading process left a king-hell mess. What can I do to tidy up this process?

Let me start by saying that clean up is part of this game.  No one knows it, or hates it, more than me. It's simply my love of cooking and eating that overcomes my distaste for dealing with the aftermath.

You can, however, take some steps to seriously limit the mess-making throughout the process, and yeild a better product as well. 

Here are some tips.

Use big bowls- you'll have more space to work in.  This contains the mess and let's one bread multiple pieces at a time.
Shake off the flour well- If there's a clump of flour, it's liable to break up after all is said and done.  You'll loose your breading and be left with a chuck of exposed flour.
Beat well and strain the eggs- Lightly tossing the eggs with a fork does not serve here.  I use a blender to thoroughly combine the eggs (and sometimes a little water).  Then I pour it through a fine sieve, this removes the gloppy albumen and lessens the clumps - making the wet step a little easier.
Keep a "dry hand"- I focus on keeping my right hand dry, touching only the flour and breadcrumbs with it.  With my left, I use a slotted spoon to fish stuff out of the egg wash and drain off the excess egg.
Don't bother seasoning the bread or flour - I find that for the amount of seasoning required, not enough of the flavor comes through.  In other words, it's wasteful.   The items that you're cooking should have enough seasoning in and of themselves. 

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