Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meat Tenderizer: 5 Stars

This picture is a little misleading because I use the flat side of this meat tenderizer.

When Philip and I first got married we never ate white meat. We mostly cooked with skinless boneless chicken thighs. I knew that chicken breasts were probably better for us but by the time they were cooked it would taste so dry. Now, eight years later, we eat boneless, skinlless chicken breasts all the time. This would not be possible if it were not for my meat tenderizer.

For the juciest chicken breast you have ever had follow the following steps:
  1. Place your chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. The wrap prevents nasty chicken juice from being splattered all over your kitchen.
  2. Pound the chicken out until all the thickness of the breast is uniform throughout. Part of the reason for dry chicken breasts is that by the time the thick part of the breast is done the rest is very over cooked.
  3. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and place into a skillet set on med-high heat.
  4. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes on both sides.
  5. Remove chicken from pan.
  6. Let the chicken rest! This might be the most important step. Do not cut the chicken for at least 5 minutes after removing from the pan.
Occasionally I have had one of the thicker breasts be a little pink even after 8 minutes in the pan. Of course I don't discover that until I cut the breast after it has rested for 5 minutes. In this case I save the breast for another dish that will be cooked in the oven, or I finish the breast in the microwave.

You don't have to have a PC meat tenderizer to execute this method. Just use a big cast iron skillet or foil wrapped brick to flatten the chicken.

Ideas for using the cooked chicken are: chicken quesadillas, chicken enchiladas, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken salad, etc.

Here is the PC recipe where I got the original method. This is a great recipe:

Quick Chicken Primavera Risotto
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
1 medium onion
1 large garlic clove, pressed
2 packages (8.8 ounces each) buttery or roasted chicken flavor pre-cooked rice
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium zucchini
2 plum tomatoes
2 - 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
2 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese

1. Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness using flat side of Meat Tenderizer. Season both sides with salt and black pepper. Lightly spray (12-in.) skillet with oil; heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until hot. Arrange chicken and lemon halves, cut sides down, in skillet; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until center of chicken is no longer pink (do not turn lemon halves). Remove chicken and lemon from skillet. Cool slightly; slice chicken into 1/2-inch pieces.

2. Chop onion. Lightly spray same skillet with additional oil. Cook onion and pressed garlic over medium heat 4-6 minutes or until onion is tender.

3. Add rice; juice caramelized lemon halves into skillet. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until juice is completely absorbed into rice. Cut carrot into julienne strips and slice zucchini. Seed and dice tomatoes. Add vegetables and 2 cups of the broth to skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 4-5 minutes or until broth is slightly thickened. Stir in chicken; cook until heated through.

4. Remove risotto from heat. Add Asiago cheese and basil; stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened (adjust sauce consistency with additional broth, if necessary). Stir in mascarpone or cream cheese.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Light: Calories 250, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Carbohydrate 31 g, Protein 20 g, Sodium 940 mg, Fiber 3 g

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I realize I've missed several of your posts on this blog--I'm a convert now that I've watched you use this very meat tenderizer--that chicken was SO good!!!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin