February 26, 2010

Whenever I discover a new ingredient or cooking technique, it reminds me of just how much variety there is out there in the world of food. It also makes me realise that, despite having been cooking for nigh on 30 years, there is still so much to learn.

Last night, I decided to finish up some cabbage and flavour it with fennel seeds and a sprinkling of paprika (a delicious taste combination I’ve picked up from various Spanish recipes). And I really fancied something simple and meaty on the side.

Now, I rarely eat chicken breast, as it is usually rather bland in flavour, and no matter how carefully you cook it, I find it often ends up slightly dry. However, for some reason, last night I decided to give it another go.

I have no idea why this popped into my head, but it occurred to me that flattening the breast into a kind of escalope might help. It’s supposed to make the meat more tender, and my thinking was that, as it would be thinner, it wouldn’t need to be cooked for so long, and may end up being less dry.

So, I stuck the breast in a plastic freezer bag and gave it a good bashing with a rolling pin (quite a satisfying thing to do, actually). And, you know what? It worked! I griddled it in my Le Creuset griddle pan, with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, on a very high heat. It cooked through in a matter of a few minutes, and still retained its moistness.

This is definitely going to be my favoured method of cooking chicken breast from now on – so expect a spate of recipes coming soon!


5 Responses to “Splat!”

  1. Christina Says:

    I will definitely try this because I love chicken breast. This weekend I have a few things I need to use up so I’m going to make a mushroom, onion, potatoe, spinach soup with beef broth and some seasonings. Hopefully it will be good. I’m trying to get my cupboard cleared out. I’m going to go through it this weekend and throw out anything that’s outdated, that might help. LOL

  2. Nick Says:

    Hey Blondie!
    How’s the Theodora Fitzgibbon coming on?

    My old art school tutor has made a website about Art and Food that you and your weird foodie fans may find interesting. At first glance the quotations look worryingly highbrow, but there’s a lot of fun stuff in there if you persevere:


    The recipe for the crisp sandwich in the ‘Snacks’ section is one of my staples.


  3. jasnieres Says:

    That is how you do a Wiener Schnitzel – an evocative memory of growing up for me as Baba used to often make Wiener Schnitzel and red cabbage with mashed potatoes.
    Unfortunately, Dad didn’t like eastern European food so I never cooked it for you.
    So you can blame him – or me for kowtowing to him – for never having that pleasure.

  4. Christina – a-bit-of-everything soups are just the best way to use up fresh ingredients. If you have any nutmeg, I reckon a pinch of that would go well with what you have.
    Nick – I’m liking the Art & Food website. I particularly like the painting of the man with the fish on his head by Currin. Haven’t actually started the Theodora book, I’m afraid. But it’s definitely next on my list.
    Mum – you’ll have to do me a wiener schnitzel next time I’m over at yours. Or find one of Baba’s recipes and I’ll make it for you.

  5. Flattening any meat is always great fun and such a good way to de-stress too 🙂 The meal looks really tasty too!

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