Saturday, August 1, 2009

chicken paillard

The summer that I lived in NYC without air conditioning and worked from home, I have literally no memory of eating. I would make pitchers of limeade and sip on them all day. I slurped smoothies for lunch. According to my facebook photos, I would buy sparkling apple cider and drink it from the bottle with absolutely no shame. Well, those days are back. It's hot. We are cheapos and trying to live sans AC this summer and I seriously can't wait to go to NORTHERN NOVA SCOTIA tomorrow and wear sweatshirts again. Anyway, here is a good dinner for when it is stupidly hot out. It's probably the lightest meal I ever made for myself in college that still counts as a meal.

(yes... this is a Rachel Ray recipe. WHAT ABOUT IT? I got the cookbooks as a gift, ok? And seriously, it is fast and good.)

2 chicken breasts or 4 "tenders"(halve this recipe if you don't want leftovers for lunch tomorrow)
A lemon (you'll need the zest, so buy organic)
a few sprigs Thyme & parsley, chopped. Or a few teaspoons, dried
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth-- I've only made it with this:

and it turned out delicious, really carroty.
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour

baby greens

1. "Paillard" that chicken-- First, I like to seperate the breasts into tenders by splitting down the middle at the "seam." Eww. Next, put a layer of saran wrap on top and whack those breasts with a mallet or a heavy pan. Holy unsanitary, batman! Vegans everywhere are cringing in shame. Whatever, use your anger at the industrial agricultural system to really flatten that chicken... it tenderizes the meat and makes the tenders cook quickly and evenly. RR herself gives tips on how to freeze/defrost/portion control at the Food Network page.

2. Set a pan on the range to heat up, then rub that chicken with some olive oil, the chopped herbs, salt and pepper, and the zest from the lemon.

3. Throw it in the pan to fry up for 3-4 minutes, while you toss the salad greens with the juice from the lemon, a little olive oil and some classy sea salt. WHAT? you don't have grey sea salt hand flaked from the Atlantic by underemployed Ph.D.s in theater? That's ok, use kosher salt.

4. Once the chicken is done (always a stressful moment, for some reason) take it out of the pan and let it hang out on the side while you throw some butter into the pan and scrape up the fond-- that's the gunk at the bottom of the pan for all of those uninitiated in the finer points of food vocabulary. Thanks, Alton Brown! (this blog post brought to you by the Food Network)

5. Now make a delicious roux (CAJUN STYLE!) by mixing (whisking???) in the 2 tbs flour, making sure that there are no little flour doughnuts. Add the broth and let it bubble away until the sauce is pretty thick. "Until it barely coats the back of a spoon."

6. Now spread the sauce on your plate(s), put the salad on top and then two of the tenders. Wasn't that classier than sitting around in a muumuu crunching ice cubes? Is that just me???

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