When it’s hot outside, I love to eat yogurt, slurp gazpacho and sip Arnold Palmers. But no matter what the temperature, I still find myself getting hungry for more substantial food by dinnertime. This chicken dish satisfies my hunger pangs without being heavy.
Buy boneless and skinless breasts for this recipe. Don’t bother trying to de-bone chicken breasts yourself; it is a time-consuming pain-in-the-you-know-what and, unless you are skilled at it, you’ll lose a lot of the meat in the process. The per pound price difference between bone-in and boneless breasts is usually considerable, but once you take into account the weight of the bone, you’ll find that the meat itself isn’t much more expensive bought boneless.
I use the term cutlet interchangably with boneless breast. Some stores cut breasts into thinner slices and call those pieces cutlets. I prefer the “full” breast for this recipe, but a thinner piece will work if you watch the cooking time to make sure you don’t over cook it.
The cutlets cook quickly and the other ingredients should be added without delay, so mise en place or gathering prepared and measured ingredients is important, as it is in stir-frying. The proportions given are for two, but the recipe is easily increased for more servings; just make sure your pan is large enough to accommodate the cutlets with enough space around it so that it can cook without touching another one.
The only trick to this recipe is pounding the chicken breasts before sautéing (pan frying) to tenderize them. I have a fancy meat mallet that is handy for that purpose, but you can use any heavy and unbreakable knobby implement, like a rolling pin or a pestle from a mortar and pestle. Even a hammer works. Just remember that the meat should not directly touch the rolling pin or other implement; you can assure that by putting the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap that are larger than the breast. (The cutlets will get larger as they get thinner when you pound them.) Just think of the fun you can have taking out your frustrations on dinner and having it taste better as a result!
Sautéed Boneless Chicken Breasts
Servings – 2 Cost $7 ($3.50 per serving)
Serve with rice, barley, or other grain and salad.
Food safety tips for handling raw chicken – Keep the cutting board and all the implements that touch raw chicken separate from those you use on vegetables and on the completed dish. Wash your hands after touching the raw chicken and before handling any other food or items. When serving the chicken and sauce remember to use a different implement from the one that turned the partially cooked cutlets.