Oh, chicken breasts. I have a feeling that some of you read posts like this creamy corn and bacon spaghetti and think to yourself, “man, that looks good, but I’ll probably make some chicken breasts”. Why? They’re cheap, they’re healthy, and they’re generally well-received by family members. So here’s a recipe that zazzes (not a word) them up with just TWO INGREDIENTS. Salt and pepper don’t count.
Olive oil doesn’t count either. Anyway – since I like to teach through my recipes, today I’d like to describe how you can take this methodology and tailor it a thousand ways. First of all, pounding the chicken actually makes it more tender not to mention making it quicker to cook (no drying out!). It’s not hard, and doesn’t require any special tools (read note below). Ok – so here’s your sequence.
1. Salt and pepper chicken. Brown chicken on both sides (it’s thin so it cooks quickly).
2. Remove chicken to plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Add something sweet and something salty/tangy in equal parts to pan. Examples, soy sauce and honey, balsamic and brown sugar, etc.
4. Whisk together while scraping brown bits (called fond) off bottom of pan. Simmer to reduce, several minutes, till a bit syrupy.
5. Return chicken to pan and turn in sauce until reheated and evenly coated. Serve!
You too can cook without a recipe! When your family tells you how good it was you can say, “oh I just whipped that up”, real casual like.
Easy Maple-Glazed Chicken
4 chicken breasts, pounded thin*
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
3 tbsp. maple syrup
*To pound chicken, place breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (or heavy small saucepan – I used a citrus juicer), pound chicken evenly across surface until uniformly thinned out.
1. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
2. Heat skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Swirl to coat pan with oil.
3. Add chicken and brown on both sides. Remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
4. Add vinegar and maple syrup to pan and use a whisk or wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil and let simmer until thickened – about 2 minutes.
5. Return chicken to the pan and coat both sides in glaze. Serve immediately.