Cooking With Jan

Wasabi and Panko Chicken

By Jan Christian

                       I love to cook and experiment with new recipes.  Over the years I have developed a recipe box of tried and true recipes that I have perfected and want to share them with you.   As restaurants are only open for take-out, this is an awesome time to sharpen those cooking skills.  The recipes I will offer are simple, balanced, and usually incorporate herbs and spices. This week I made a version of Wasabi & Panko Chicken. Pork cutlets work great as well.  I always serve it with a stir-fry of carrots and snap peas, plus basmati rice or in this week’s version – farro.  Farro is an ancient grain that has a chewy texture and very versatile!

Wasabi & Panko Chicken

¾ c panko crumbs

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 T water in a flat bowl

1 lb. chicken cutlets or thin slices of chicken breasts

½ c chicken broth

½ t. ground ginger

3 T. soy sauce

3 T. dry sherry

2 t. sugar

2 t. wasabi paste (more if you like it spicier)

Green onions , sliced on the diagonal

  1. Dip the chicken pieces in egg , then the panko ( placed on a sheet of wax paper). Heat a skillet with some olive oil and cook each side for about 4 minutes to brown the coating. Remove from the pan to a plate.
  2. Combine the broth with the other liquids and paste.  Heat in the skillet until boiling. Add the chicken and finish until chicken is cooked through. This takes about 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and keep warm.

Stir-fry carrots and snap peas

2 carrots slices on the diagonal

4 oz snap peas, washed.

1/2 lemon

  1. Heat skillet, add carrots and 2-3 T water.  Pre cook for 5 minutes to soften but not completely cook through. Drain.  Heat skillet with 1 T oil and stir fry snap peas and carrots until just crisp tender. Do not over-cook.
  2. Add butter and lemon juice to taste.  Add S & P, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

Farro and sliced cherry tomatoes

Cook 1 cup farro per package instructions. Always drain off any leftover water in the pan after it is tender.  I add butter or olive oil and a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes.  Also season with S & P . Experiment and add herbs, lemon juice, cubed veggies.

NOTE:  I found a par-cooked farro at Whole Foods that only takes about 15 minutes to cook. It turned out well. Whole grain farro that you can get in bulk takes longer to cook, so plan ahead.  It cooks a lot like pasta.

Farro Tips

  • Know what kind of farro you have. Grocery stores typically sell 3 types of farro: pearled, semi-pearled, and whole. The cooking times for each vary widely, ranging from 15 minutes for pearled to 40 minutes for whole. When you buy your farro, make sure you know what kind you have – you don’t want it to come out too hard or too mushy! If you don’t know what type you have – start tasting it for doneness at 15 the minute mark and go from there.

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