Chicken, chicken, chicken. Yeah.

So I found myself with 15 lbs of delicious, high-quality, very clean, glatt kosher, boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Unlike many commercial frozen chicken products, this one has no injected saline solution so even though it is salted since it is kosher it is not salty.  It cooks up beautifully, stays juicy, tastes great, and is fun to work with.  So far I’ve used about half making several dishes – including the two below and some great kebabs.  Make one of these to go with all your great summer vegetables. 

Pollo Patate (pronounce that the Italian way, po-low, not the Spanish way, poy-yo)  serves 4, doubles easily

  • 2 whole (double) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • water
  • olive oil for greasing dish

Grease a large glass or ceramic baking dish with the oil.  Cut the chicken into strips, removing any center cartilage, and put them into the dish.  Peel and cut the potatoes into wedges, about the same size as the chicken strips.  Add them to the pan.  Cut several large strips of the lemon peel off and add to pan, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pan.  Put the rosemary into pan.  Peel and cut the garlic into smaller chunks, add to pan.  Add salt (a little if the chicken is kosher and already salted, a little more if not) and pepper to your taste.  Toss all the ingredients together to mix.  Pour 1 cup cold water into pan with the chicken mixture.  Cover the pan tightly with foil or an oven-proof lid, bake at 350 until potatoes are soft and chicken is cooked, about an hour.  Check after half an hour to make sure it isn’t dry, if it is add another cup of water.  The dish should be thick, not watery, when it is done.  If it seems soupy, remove lid/foil and cook another few minutes open to dry it out a bit.  Serve with salad, cooked vegetables, crudites, etc.

Panko Crusted Chicken Breasts  serves 4ish

  • 3 whole (double) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups unseasoned panko crumbs
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs olive oil, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1 egg

Halve the whole breasts, removing any cartilage.  Set aside.  In a large, flattish bowl mix together the panko, seasonings, and olive oil.  In another bowl, toss the breasts with the egg.  Use oil to well grease a cookie sheet.  Dip the chicken into the panko, turning to coat thoroughly, patting the crumbs on.  Put the crumbed chicken onto the baking dish.  Bake at 400 15 minutes, then carefully turn the breasts over.  Cook another 15 minutes then check to see if they are done.  If they are, put the oven on low broil and let brown for 5 minutes on each side.  If they chicken isn’t cooked yet, let them cook another 5-10 minutes then check, then brown when done.  You can serve them plain hot, smothered in marinara sauce (atop spaghetti?), leaning up a pile of mashed potatoes, chilled and sliced into a green salad, whole cold with a dipping sauce (try equal parts mayo and brown mustard, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of garlic powder), or hot or cold on a chewy roll with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a pickle.  If you cut the chicken into strips before crumbing and cooking then you get a gourmet and much healthier version of chicken fingers.  All the flavor, almost none of the fat.

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