Thursday, May 3, 2012

Malibu Chicken

I know I've mentioned that we have "restaurant night" every so often at our house.  Because eating out is so expensive due to the size of our family, we go out by staying home.  I try to pick a new recipe from a different restaurant each time we have restaurant night so my kiddos don't get bored, and so they don't feel like they are missing out by not eating at restaurants.

Last week we "went" to Sizzler.  I made a salad bar, which consisted of a bowl of greens and several bowls of different toppings and dressings.  I even bought a can of the baby corn that everyone loves so much.  We started with the salad, and our server, my #2 daughter Brandee, brought drinks.  I really should have taken a picture of it, because it was fun, and we were all laughing.

For the main course, I served Malibu Chicken.  Now, I consider myself a Malibu Chicken aficionado.  I've been ordering it for almost as many years as I've been alive.  It's my favorite Sizzler menu item.  It's basically their version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, just simplified.  I think it's the perfect restaurant dish to clone at home.

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but alas, I can't.  But I can tell you, that this tastes exactly like Sizzler's Malibu Chicken.  And I don't say that lightly.  Really, I don't.  I'm the first one to admit that most restaurant recipes can't be cloned exactly at home.  Either the ingredients aren't available to the home cook, or the method can't be reproduced at home.  Thankfully, that isn't the case here.  This version comes out crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside with salty ham and the gooey melted cheese finish.  I did make one substitution from the original recipe.  I personally don't care much for Swiss cheese unless the flavor is completely masked by other ingredients, so I used provolone.

Malibu Chicken
Serves 6 

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (pound 'em thin)
6 slices cooked ham
6 slices Swiss cheese  (I used provolone)
1 egg
1/4 cup flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs  (I used panko)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon water 
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Stir egg and 1 tablespoons water together with a fork. Combine flour, salt and pepper and coat each chicken piece, dip into egg mixture and then coat with breadcrumbs making sure to press crumbs in firmly.

Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Brown chicken 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Place browned chicken on cookie sheet or oven proof platter and bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and top each piece with a slice of ham and slice of cheese. Return to the oven and cook until cheese melts. For the dipping sauce combine mustard and mayonnaise.





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