Thursday, February 28, 2008

Salad days

There's going to be more food around here for a while: it's 16'F right now and nothing is going to be happening on the terrace...

Enter the chicken breast. Now breasts of chicken are not something about which I can get very worked up. Yes, things can be Done to them: like rolling them in layers of herbs and ricotta and lemon zest and packaging them in netvet...Hm. What is that in English? Caul fat. But other parts of that wonderful bird interest me more: more flavourful, juicy, tender...thighs, leg 'n thigh combos, it's like wonderbread versus the real thing. And they are expensive. I guess that depends on the audience. I think they're expensive. Call me a wing woman.

Logically, then, here follows a breast recipe. The ONE thing they have going for them: Low fat, and texture to work with. Beat them, I say.

Lay one flat on a chopping block covered in clingfilm, lay more clingy plastic over the top, and wack away with a rolling pin or similar heavy object, working your anger out from the middle to the sides. I like to have some texture left at the end so mine are never too thin. Cover in the juice of a lemon or lime (once you've removed the plastic), and some crushed garlic, salt and pepper don't hurt.

Make a salad of parsley leaves, thinly sliced red onion, a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper and dash of olive oil. I added halved cherry tomatoes. Toss. Heat a pan, wait till it's really hot and the olive oil you've put in it is running races with itself, and add the chicken. Lots of sizzling. Leave for about 1 -2 minutes, depending on thickness, and flip. Cook them once on each side. Don't turn over and over; that's like torturing your chicken. And you won't develop a nice brown outside. Take out of the pan, put on a warm plate and put a heap of leaves over the top. Deglaze the pan with more lemon or a slosh of white wine, cook off and pour over.


2 comments:

  1. Hey Marie - as always your recipe descriptions are damn good! Nobody told me about not turning meat over & over (until recently), but you do. And other useful details (like how the oil runs). Tonight I had impromptu supper with friends I haven't seen for ages - from the garden: aubergine roasted with balsamic/ garlic/ olive oil mix; topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, greek basil and melted goat's feta; then quinoa / couscous mix with onion, courgette and celery bits; leafy salad with green pepper, avo, and roasted sunflower seeds. Yum. The only bought items were the feta and avo! (i'm just about glowing I'm so proud). And the Glen Carlou Tortoise Hill was delish. Wish you were here to co-savour it all.

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  2. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! That sounds amazing. How wonderful to have grown most of it all yourself. The Tortoise Hill is nice, isn't it? We found it in Knysna...

    Now I want aubergines.

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