I like to think I was one of the first to discover The Cheesecake Factory on the East coast. We would frequent the only one in the D.C. area and would even pay the horrible 10% tax back in the day. I have so many great memories that are formed around The Cheesecake Factory--waiting outside for a table and entertaining ourselves by super-gluing a quarter to the sidewalk just outside the door and watching people try to pick it up, and using the $100 to pay that someone gave us while driving on Route 95 as we were heading up to Baltimore's Inner Harbor's Cheesecake Factory (That is a crazy story). While in college we would make the 4 1/2 hour drive to Vegas to be able to go to The Cheesecake Factory at Caesar's palace.
As my sister, Mary and I were original patrons we took many a Virgin Cheesecake Factory customer. We soon discovered 4 things that everyone would say the first time they went to The Cheesecake Factory: 1) After almost spilling their water, "Whoa, this cup is a lot lighter than it looks." 2) "This menu is huge!" 3) After seeing an attractive girl in an ad in the menu, "I'll take one of those." and 4)after completing their meal and looking at the Cheesecake choices, "This really IS the Cheesecake Factory!"
Unfortunately, we haven't been as happy with the Cheesecake Factory the past few times we have gone. Mostly bad service, but there are so many great restaurants in the D.C. area we usually just try something new (latest: Central.). There is one dish that I was craving so this recipe is inspired by their Crispy Chicken Costolleta. I'm not saying it is a direct match, because I haven't eaten it in months. My sister-in-law, Amanda recommends this to everyone who goes to The Factory, and they all love it! This is for you, Amanda!
Crispy Chicken Costolleta
(Copycat of the Cheesecake Factory's Crispy Chicken Costolleta)
4 chicken breasts, cut horizontally, and pounded to about 1/4 inch thick, or use chicken cutlets.
Lemon zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
2 eggs, whisked with 2 T water
3 Tablespoons flour
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Zest two lemons. Bake zest for about 5 minutes until dry. On one paper plate combine flour, pepper and salt. On another paper plate combine eggs and water, whisk until combined. On another paper plate combine dry lemon zest, bread crumbs and cheese. Place pounded chicken in the flour, coating well, followed by the egg mixture and the bread crumbs. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and cook on each side about 5 minutes until middle is no longer pink. You will need to work in batches, adding more oil and butter as needed. Keep chicken warm in oven at 250 degrees.
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plus 1 T fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup chicken stock
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Over medium heat in a fairly large saucepan heat canola oil. Add minced garlic and saute about 3 minutes. Add whipping cream and boil until reduced by one-third. Add Dijon, lemon juice, chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
Serve chicken with lemon sauce and mashed garlic potatoes.
Crispy Chicken Costoletta
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