Friday night dinner is the time my family and I gather together, share the news of the busy week behind us, and regroup. I spend most Fridays preparing this special meal. When summer heat arrives, though, the thought of cranking up the oven and heating the house makes me want to sit on the balcony with an iced coffee and while the day away. Cutlets to the rescue: they are quick and easy. This recipe originated when a craving for Moroccan flavors hit, but I was without home-cured lemons. The charmoula is based on Paula Wolfert's recipe in Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, but has sort of wandered off in its own direction.
What you will need
4 very small organic lemons
2 tablespoons fine sea salt, plus an extra tablespoon for soaking
1-2 small pieces broken cinnamon stick, each about 1/4" x 1"
2 fresh bay leaves, twisted in several places along the central vein to release flavor
4 whole peppercorns, slightly cracked in a mortar and pestle
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups minced Italian parsley and cilantro, about half of each
2 scallions, sliced, including some light green
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
pinch or two of cumin
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
zest from one small lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 boneless and skinless chicken cutlets, about 3-1/4 lb.