I expect this will be the first in a series of posts about how to make chicken breasts taste good.
Am I the only one who thinks that poultry mammary is just not…well…good? I have always thought of chicken breasts as an excessively blank canvas barely redeemable by the most robust of flavours and fattiest of fats. It does not help that we have all, myself included, been fear-mongered by the threats of “salmonella!” and “cross contamination!” into rendering our chicken breasts into rubbery protein pucks.
But chicken breasts are good for us, you say! Indeed they are. So says Kiwi’s naturopath-slash-low-carb-enforcer. And these days I therefore have no choice but to cook chicken breasts.
So back to the point. How to make them taste good. In a weeknight flash.
Step 1: make sure your breasts are nice ones. Juicy ones. (I am speaking of the chicken’s of course. I have all but given up hope on mine, but that’s another story for another blog, clearly.) Preferably some combination of free range, organic, naturally raised. The best you can afford. I have been springing for organic ones lately, and can honestly say I have yet to be disappointed.
Step 2: cut them in half. No, not the usual way. Pull off the tenders, and then run your knife sideways all the way down the chicken breast to divide it into two thin cutlet-type thingies, like this:
This has the double benefit of (1) making it look like you have a whole lot more chicken than you actually do (a bonus when you are springing for organic, especially), and (2) massively increasing the coverage of the crunchy goodness discussed in step 3.
Step 3: bake them in a blanky of crispy crunchy tangy goodness. Not that out-of-a-box version, but an almost equally simple one that can be assembled with pantry ingredients: good bread crumbs, pepper, a bit of spice if you like that sort of thing, mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you live anywhere near me and can get your hands on the ShaSha organic sprouted spelt breadcrumbs, lucky you. I know you won’t believe me, but please try: these things are reeeeeeeediculously and obnoxiously delicious. I imagine panko breadcrumbs would be a good, if less virtuous, substitute, though I haven’t tried them in this recipe.
Almost any side dish rocks out next to these chicken breasts, but veggie sticks, or a green salad and some steamed broccoli or roasted sweet potato wedges is a good place to start.