Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chicken paillards

I am posting twice today. My earlier post was for yesterday’s food. Now it’s time for today's.

I offered Peter the choice between salmon, rib eye steak and chicken breast as our protein this evening. He opted for either salmon or chicken, so I got two boneless skinless breast pieces out of the freezer.

Last week I discussed our Picnic Chicken recipe. I’m going to use some elements of that as I make chicken paillards. They will be accompanied by the last of the potato salad from last Sunday’s picnic in Central City.

Chicken Paillards

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
paprika, to taste
black pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp capers
juice of ½ lemon
splash of rice wine
1 tbsp olive oil

For the brine:
2 cups water
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
6 pepper corns, cracked
1 garlic clove, smashed

Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Add the garlic and pepper corns and the chicken in a one gallon freezer bag. Refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours. One hour before cooking, remove the chicken from the brine and dry with paper towels. Do not rinse the chicken.

Remove the tenders and set aside. Slice the breast pieces to open them up like a book. Put them between pieces of plastic wrap and pound them to about 1/3” thickness, making sure they are equal thickness all over. The tenders do not need to be flattened.

In a saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the capers, rice wine and lemon juice. Keep warm.

Sprinkle with pinches of paprika and pepper. Heat a stovetop grill or ridged pan over medium high heat. When hot, spray with Pam and start cooking the chicken. My favorite way of knowing when the grill is ready is to flick a few drops of water onto it. If it vaporizes immediately the grill is ready. Allow no more than 3 minutes for the first side. Flip the pieces over and turn off the burner. Cover the chicken loosely with a piece of foil. Let them sit there for exactly 2 minutes and then remove them to a warm plate.

Drizzle the lemon/caper sauce over them and enjoy.

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