2 cups all purpose flour
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breast
1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying (more if necessary)
4 ounces unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ancho chili paste
1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin seed
Several parsley sprigs, leaves only
Several cilantro sprigs, leaves only
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Serving suggestion: lemon-steamed asparagus and herb scented rice
For the breading process: Three separate containers (preferably flat and wide baking dishes or gratin dishes) will be needed; one for the flour, one for wet ingredients and one for the breading ingredients.
Place the flour into its chosen dish. Whisk the eggs together with the milk and 2 tablespoons oil. Combine the bread crumbs, pecans, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese until uniformly mixed.
Using a meat tenderizer or other flat object to pound the chicken breasts to a flat and uniformly 1/4-inch thick cutlet. Dip the cutlets, one at a time into the flour first, next the egg mixture and finally the dry breading mix. Try to keep one hand dry and work one hand wet or use tongs to transfer the chicken from one dish to another. When all of the chicken has been coated, place on a dish and refrigerate until ready to cook. This may be done in advance.
Make the flavored butter by placing the butter, chili paste, cumin seed, parsley, cilantro, lime juice and ground black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine well and remove. Lay a piece of waxed paper 12 by 16 inches out flat and scrape the flavored butter onto the waxed paper, at about 1/3 the length up, into a sausage shape. Roll the edge of the paper over the butter and enclose the butter to form a tube-shape. Roll the remaining paper up as you would a cigar and place this log of butter into the freezer for at least 3 hours until it is brick hard. This butter may be made well in advance and keeps, frozen, for up to 1 month.
To cook the chicken, heat a large saute pan over medium heat, with the 1/4 cup of oil until hot. Add the chicken to the oil, cooking in batches to avoid over crowding the pan, and cook until golden brown about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook the second side for an additional 6 minutes until the center is cooked and the juices run clear. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Remove the butter from the freezer, unwrap, and cut into 1/4-inch thick round slices. After all the chicken has cooked, place 1 or 2 slices of butter on each piece of chicken, allowing the heat from the chicken to melt the butter into the chicken coating. Serve with lemon-steamed asparagus and herb scented rice.
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