What? You had a ‘fried chicken party’ yesterday and now you have your fridge full of fried chicken, nuggets or chicken cutlets. Are you having a bellyache just thinking to eat them again today for dinner? Well, you know..it is a pity to throw all away! Willy-nilly you have to eat them. What you maybe do not know is that, despite they was born as fried chicken, you can reuse them in a healthy dinner options way. How? Re-cook them using a traditional recipe coming from the Old World (older than you think…).
Healthy dinner option
If you have an Italian friend, colleague or relative, it is now the time to call him/her. It is well known that Italians could have the answer.. if the question is about food! Italy is famous for having lot of recipes, but maybe you do not know that among these recipes, there a huge quantity about cooking (or better re-cooking) left-overs. So, having all these fried chicken in your fridge could be your opportunity to taste the ‘Cotoletta in umido’. ‘In umido’ in Italian means ‘Stewed’. It is a simple way to re-cook your left-overs, in a healthy and environmental friendly way. You also are contributing to reduce carbon emissions, just avoiding to transform them in waste. In addition, it could be healthy for your wallet as well! You are transforming your left-overs in a typical Italian dinner, without paying an expensive restaurant.
But now, let’s see our “Cotoletta in umido” recipe. This way of cooking is very popular in the rural regions of Italy, especially in Emilia-Romagna (perhaps you know Maranello, city of ‘Ferrari’).
The best thing is to have chicken fried cutlets (e.g. ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ or, better, ‘Cotoletta alla Milanese’) remained from the day/lunch before, but you can apply this recipe also to fried chicken wings or nuggets.
To prepare the ‘Cotoletta in umido’ you need to:
- chop a little onion or a garlic clove and fry it (if possible use ‘Olio Extravergine di Oliva’
- the healthier option for Olive Oil) in a large pan. Do not exaggerate with oil
- ¼ of a standard glass will be enough!; If you want to a more healthy dish, you can skip this point and go directly to the subsequent. The result will be good as well.
- put in the same pan your chicken cutlets/nuggets/fried wings;
- cover your fried chicken with tomato paste mixed with water. If you like them, you can add some peas;
- cook all for around 30 minutes, until the water is completely dried.
- put a handful of Parmesan Cheese.
DO NOT use Cordon Blues or similar cutlets with cheese and ham, you can transform this recipe from something good and healthy in something awful.
A Week of Cheap, Healthy Dinner Recipes
This dish is best served accompanied by red wine. If available in your city, typical wines of the Emilia-Romagna region are Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Merlot dei Colli Bolognesi. If possible do not use white wine. In Italy meat is almost always accompanied by red wine. If you cannot find the wines listed, you can choose any red wine without gas (e.g. some wine from Tuscany). This would be your better and more healthy option.