Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Cauliflower Puree and Arugula
Vegetable oil, for frying (about 3 cups)
3 cups lightly crushed salted pretzel rods (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Four 6-ounce chicken cutlets, 1/4-inch thick, pounded if necessary (1 1/2 pounds total)
1 1/2 lbs cauliflower, chopped (1 small head cauliflower)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, or more to taste
4 cups arugula or baby spinach
1 lemon, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
- Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with 1/4 inch of water; add cauliflower and garlic and cover the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until florets are easily pierced with a paring knife, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve.
- Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium-high heat until it registers 350°F on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a pinch of flour sizzles when sprinkled into the oil.
- While oil is heating, add pretzels to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until some crumbs are ground fine but some are still coarse pea-sized pieces. Spread pretzel crumbs on a large plate or another rimmed baking sheet. Wipe out bowl of food processor and reserve for cauliflower pureé.
- Place flour on another large plate or rimmed baking sheet and use a whisk to gently blend in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until blended. Working with one cutlet at a time, coat with flour on both sides, then dip in egg (allowing excess to drip off), then dredge in pretzel crumbs, pressing them to adhere.
- Working in batches if necessary, fry cutlets until golden brown and fully cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer cutlets to wire rack to drain, and season them with salt.
- Once cauliflower and garlic are cooked and drained, add them to the bowl of the food processor along with the butter, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Purée until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Season to taste.
- To serve, divide arugula among four plates. Season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and a drizzle of olive oil. Divide cauliflower purée among the plates, and top with chicken cutlets.
- Do ahead:
- The cutlets can be breaded and refrigerated up to 2 hours in advance of frying. The cauliflower puree can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance; reheat before serving.