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Chicken Cutlets with Cacciatore Farro Salad and Red Pepper Aïoli

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

In this riff on classic chicken cacciatore, crisp panko-crusted chicken cutlets and a hearty farro salad are balanced here by bright, fresh arugula, while the creamy aïoli ties the dish together.


For the aïoli

  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil; more for the peppers
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the farro salad

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. (2 cups) pearled farro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, cut into small dice
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup using a rasp grater); more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:

  • 5 oz. (1-1/2 cups) rice flour or cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups panko
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup using a rasp grater)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, tenders removed
  • 5 to 8 Tbs. canola oil
  • 3 oz. baby arugula (about 3 cups lightly packed)
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 1050
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 490
  • Fat (g): 55
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 27
  • Cholesterol (mg): 210
  • Sodium (mg): 810
  • Carbohydrates (g): 81
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Protein (g): 52


Make the aïoli

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F.
  • Halve and seed the bell peppers and rub them with oil. Set them cut side down on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet and roast until just tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam, 10 minutes. Pull off and discard the skins. Reserve 4 pepper halves for the farro salad.
  • Coarsely chop the remaining 2 pepper halves and put in a blender with the mayonnaise, olive oil, garlic, and 2 Tbs. water. Purée until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Make the farro salad

  • Fill a 4-quart saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in 2 Tbs. salt and the farro. Cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the farro and spread it on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbs. of the oil and toss to prevent it from sticking.
  • Cut the reserved roasted peppers into small dice. In an 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes more. Add the wine and simmer vigorously until reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Stir in the farro, butter, cheese, oregano, balsamic, and roasted peppers. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more Parmigiano-Reggiano. Remove from the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Cook the chicken

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F.
  • Put the rice flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl. In a third, combine the panko with the parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper.
  • Butterfly the chicken breasts: Slice the thick part of each breast horizontally almost in half so you can open it like a book. Using a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess, then in the egg, letting the excess drip off, and then in the panko mixture to coat well. Transfer to a plate.
  • Heat 3 Tbs. of the canola oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot—a few crumbs dropped in the oil should sizzle immediately. Cook 2 of the chicken breasts, flipping once with tongs, until golden-brown and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain briefly, then to a rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken in 2 batches, cleaning the pan and adding more oil as necessary.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt, then toss with the olive oil and season with pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut them into thirds. Serve with the farro, aïoli, and arugula.


Rate or Review

Reviews (9 reviews)

  • Krispie | 03/10/2018

    I made this again recently. I overlooked the chicken a bit but the Farro salad was wonderful. I had the leftovers for lunch a couple of days. I would consider making the Farro salad as a routine lunch item.

  • User avater
    TrendyCat | 05/24/2016

    We were just not impressed with this recipe at all! After all the glowing reviews too! I made it exactly as written - the aioli is tasteless and the farro salad is just nothing special. Won't make this one again.

  • Krispie | 06/09/2015

    This was excellent. Wonderful flavors in each part of the dish that went well together. I made this for the hubby and three little boys but would make it again for company. Update: I made this again and the whole family LOVED it. Definately make this!

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