A week or so ago, I was SO excited to learn that Giada De Laurentiis was coming to town to sign her cookbook, Weeknights with Giada. I packed up my family that morning and headed to the book signing. I had only been to one other book signing in my life – this was about 9 years ago – and I got to meet Tyler Florence. He signed my cookbook (Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen), took a picture with me (which the hubby had enlarged and framed – and it still sits in my kitchen today!) and we were done!
The line to see Giada was RIDICULOUS! It was just before lunch, I had my two boys and hubby in tow – there was no way they would survive this wait! We decided to eat lunch and then headed to a plaza area where she was speaking. We did get to see her – from a distance! But I still bought the cookbook and told the bigger one that we’d make something out of it pronto! We did just that! Crispy Chicken with Rosemary-Lemon Salt – this was delicious and the boys loved it! They even requested the leftovers in the packed lunch the next day!
I did a lot of the prep work ahead of time. I made the salt, I cut and breaded the chicken. Once it was time to prepare dinner – I just needed to cook the chicken and warm the marinara sauce!
Crispy Chicken with Rosemary-Lemon Salt
From the cookbook: Weeknights with Giada
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 (6-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 cup plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fine cornmeal or instant polenta
2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat (the oil is hot enough when a pinch of cornmeal sizzles when added to the pan). Add the rosemary sprig and fry for 30 seconds, until crisp. Using tongs, remove the rosemary sprig and drain on paper towels. Remove the leaves and finely chop to yield 1 tablespoon. Combine with 1/4 cup of the salt and half the lemon zest in a bowl and mix with a fork. Keep the pan over medium-high heat.