Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27: Sauteed Chicken Breasts

This is The Simplest Recipe On Earth. Seriously. But it's delicious, and chicken breasts are surprisingly easy to screw up. They're lean and they can be flavorless and they overcook in a flash. But the upside is that they're widely available, almost everyone likes them, and you can do almost anything with them.

If by some chance you're just learning to cook, this is a good place to start. It's from a cookbook called Now You're Cooking by Elaine Corn. It's a great cookbook for recent college grads or anyone who's just learning to cook and who wants to cook well with good ingredients.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on or off
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley ( leaves, not stems!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

1. Wash the chicken breasts. Pat them dry with a paper towel and put them on a plate.
2. Sprinkle the breasts with salt and pepper and have the plate convenient to the stove.
3. Chop the parsley and leave it on the cutting board.
4. Get out a large, good-looking serving platter. This is your last chance to wipe up any mess before you cook and eat.

1. Put the olive oil and butter in a skillet. Turn the heat to high.
2. When the butter foams, put the chicken in the pan with your hands, skin side down.
3. Let the pan heat up again until the chicken crackles. Now, reduce the heat to medium (or medium-high), so the chicken continues to crackle but doesn't burn or stick.
4. During the sautéeing, shake the pan now and then to make sure the chicken is loose, but don't move the pieces or pick them up any more than necessary.
5. After 5 or 6 minutes, when the underside is golden brown, flip the breasts over, using tongs. Keep sautéing over even heat for 5 to 6 minutes more. Pay attention!

1. Take the chicken from the pan with tongs ( or a spatula) and put it on the good-looking platter.
2. Garnish with lots of parsley and serve with the pan juices poured on top.

1 comment:

Neen said...

recipes like this are so necessary. It's often tempting to scoff, as it doesn't get much less pretentious than unadorned sauteed chicken breast, but the truth is that it's so rarely served because no one can do it well. For real, I would find it more challenging and more intimidating to pull off this recipe for company than a variety of more autopilot sexy dishes. I just wish we could get a video of you showing us how it's done.