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Pozharskie Kotlety (Pozharsky Cutlets)

Posted By Alina On March 16, 2011 @ 18:31 In Russian | 51 Comments

While I still eat chicken… I should post as many chicken recipes as possible :) I plan to breastfeed until Ivanka turns 1 year old, so I still have 6 months ahead to test and post chicken recipes. What’s the connection between breastfeeding and eating chicken? As I already wrote here, I have been eating poultry in order to maintain my animal protein balance since I got pregnant. And I’m planning to quit eating poultry as soon as I stop to breastfeed.

This time I would like to tell you about Pozharsky Cutlets. My Mom made these for me the other day, when I visited my parents to take pictures of something beautiful… something I’ll show you later.

There are two versions of the story behind this old Russian recipe. The first version suggests that Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, whose home chef was famous for his veal cutlets, once wanted to make them for the Great Prince of Moscow, but the chef had run out of veal and, instead, made analogous cutlets with chicken. The high guest liked the chicken cutlets so much that he asked for the recipe, and soon Pozharsky’s chicken cutlets became a hit among the Russian nobility.

Another version says that this recipe was invented by an inn owner Pozharsky’s wife. This legend says that Russian Tzar Alexander the First once stayed in the inn and ordered veal cutlets. The inn’s owner was shocked to realize that there was no veal at hand, and so his wife Darya suggested that he made similar cutlets of chicken fillets with plenty of white bread and butter, coated them in breadcrumbs and served as veal cutlets. Just as in the previous story, the trick worked so well that the cutlets became a popular dish on Tzar’s menu and beyond.

Yet another legend says that Darya Pozharsky learned this recipe from a French man who didn’t have money to pay for lodging and “paid” with this great recipe.

You see how many legends there are behind these simple cutlets? I’m quite sure there might be even more. Whichever version you prefer, I can tell you for sure that thanks to a perfect proportion of meat and other ingredients, these cutlets are extraordinarily juicy, buttery, and tender. Well, I find it morally unacceptable to eat veal, so I have never even tried it and I can’t compare, but I’m absolutely content with these chicken cutlets. My Mom used chicken breasts, so her cutlets were snow-white inside - a quality that makes a cutlet much more visually appealing! And of course the golden-brown breadcrumb coating is irresistible. If you eat chicken meat, go try these now - highly recommended!

 

Pozharsky Cutlets
Ingredients

3 medium-sized chicken breasts
150g white bread, crust removed
1 cup milk
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
Salt to taste
Breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil

Makes 8 cutlets, serves 4

 

Cut bread into cubes and soak it in milk. Carefully drain off all excess milk.

Mince chicken breasts and mix chicken mince with bread, butter, and egg. Add salt.

Divide the cutlet mix into 8 parts and shape them into round cutlets, gently pressing each cutlet. Coat the cutlets in breadcrumbs and cook them in a skillet with a few tablespoons vegetable oil for approximately 20 minutes.


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