Monastery Chicken (Manastirska Piletina) 2.000

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

Immigrant's Table Jan 23, 2013

This is on the menu at Ambar, a newly opened Balkan restaurant in the District. According to the chef, the dish is a variation of one eaten by monks at the Gracanica Monastery in Serbia to end their fast. He riffed on the recipe, adding the apple-wasabi sauce and the nuts.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be prepared and refrigerated a day in advance.

Servings: 2
  • For the sauce
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi mayonnaise (see NOTE)
  • For the chicken
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 tablespoons plain panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons plain dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped skin-on almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, tenderloins and all visible fat removed (10 to 12 ounces total)
  • Salt


For the sauce: Whisk together the apples, shallot, creme fraiche, yogurt and wasabi mayonnaise in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the chicken: Place a wire rack over several layers of paper towels.

Heat enough of the oil so that it comes at least 1/4 inch up the sides of a large skillet. The oil is ready when it reaches 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, spread the flour on a plate. Combine both kinds of bread crumbs and both kinds of nuts in a wide, shallow bowl. Break the egg in a separate wide, shallow bowl and beat it lightly.

Pound the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap to a thickness of 1/3 inch. Season lightly on both sides with salt.

Dip the chicken three times: in the flour on both sides, coating lightly and evenly; into the egg, coating evenly; then into the breadcrumb-nut mixture, coating both sides completely and gently pressing the coating onto the chicken as needed.

Transfer to the hot oil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the chicken over as needed. The chicken is done when it is golden on both sides and just cooked through. Transfer to the rack to drain for a minute or two.

Serve hot, with the sauce on the side.

NOTE: Wasabi mayonnaise is available in some specialty markets. To make your own for this recipe, mix 2 tablespoons of prepared mayonnaise with 1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder and 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from Bojan Bocvarov, chef at Ambar on Capitol Hill.

Tested by Jim Webster.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at