My father recently came to visit from America bearing a big hunk of good American fatty pastrami. Now, no offense to Israeli deli, but you just cannot get good pastrami here. There is nothing at the deli counter that even remotely looks like good pastrami. And when I say good pastrami, I don't mean the stuff you buy pre-sliced that looks like it can patch up my tires. I mean the kind that looks like it was just taken off the cow's back- well striated and marbled with fat with a good red/ pink color to it. Anyway, I got some of the good stuff recently and after indulging in some pastrami sandwiches on rye with mustard (well worth the 10 point increase in my cholesterol) I had some leftover and with a whole bunch of company coming for Shabbat lunch I decided to use it in an appetizer.
Here is what you need:
Chicken breast pounded thin
GOOD pastrami (don't even bother making it with the rubbery stuff)
Crumb Coating- these are crucial because it will give a lot of flavor to the dish. I make my own using one part cornflakes that I grind in the food processor, one part panko crumbs, and one part plain bread crumbs. Then I always add sesame seeds (adds such good flavor!) and I season it with my special seasoning mix ( some things need to remain secret!)
Lay the chicken breast down on a flat surface and spread with a thin layer of deli mustard. Cover with pastrami (not too much or it wont roll nicely). Roll up tightly and brush all over with seasoned mayonnaise (this is one of my secrets to keeping it moist even when you are serving it the next day) and roll in crumb mixure. Put it seam side down in a sprayed pan, no need for toothpicks and drizzle some duck sauce over it.
Here is what it looks like before it hits the oven:
Try not to eat them raw.
OK, CRUCIAL step is to spray the top with lots of Pam spray, this helps them get crispy in the oven. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!
And here are the beauties:
Slice them (if you are not serving them fresh and are reheating them, do not slice until right before) and serve with duck sauce as a dip.
*special thanks to my test kitchen on the Upper East Side where chefs Pam and Melba happily tested out this recipe.