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Author Notes: With the possible exception of being a night watchman at a mortuary, I don't think there's anything lonelier and more isolating than being a stay-at-home mom with two small children. Unless it's being a stay-at-home mom with two small children who's just moved to a new town. Where she doesn't know a soul. In the winter. Have you ever been trapped indoors for days with a colicky 3-month-old and a 4-year-old who has just discovered knock-knock jokes? (Knock knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Banana. Banana who? Banana. Banana who? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I didn't say banana?) Trust me. It's not pretty. The minute the temperature rose above freezing, I bundled everyone up and pushed/pulled the stroller through the slush to a nearby playground, where I was stunned - and delighted - to find a half-dozen other mothers with their own snowsuited, mittened, scarved children and the same half-crazed look in their eyes. Thus was born the Tuesday Mothers' Club, wherein we not only met every week to trade parenting tips (no child ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed), strategies for dealing with in-laws (remember to smile whenever your mother-in-law gives you advice), sure-fire diets (all-you-can-eat, three times a day, for two minutes) and streamlined recipes, but sowed the seeds of friendships that will last a lifetime. This is one of those streamlined recipes I use to this day; it eliminates the need for the usual flour-egg wash-bread crumb ritual for chicken cutlets and it tastes pretty good. —wssmom
- 1 cup milk or half-and-half
- seasoned salt; or if you want, chop up some fresh herbs such as tarragon
- 1 pound chicken cutlets, thin sliced
- bread crumbs or panko
- olive oil for frying
- Add the seasoned salt or fresh herbs (along with some salt and pepper) to the milk. Put the cutlets in a glass baking dish or a bowl, pour the seasoned milk over them, and let hang out in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so while you empty the dishwasher or make yourself a martini. Or both.
- Pour off the seasoned milk, and dredge the cutlets in the bread crumbs or panko. Return to the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, which should ensure the crumbs stick to the chicken.
- Heat a nonstick skillet, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When shimmery, add the chicken cutlets and saute until browned on one side, about 2-3 minutes, then turn and repeat with the other side. Drain on paper towels, and serve with mashed potatoes and a green veggie.