One the things I like most about cooking is learning new cooking techniques and trying new cooking methods.
I always find it fascinating. I’m like “Whoa this is genius, I should have thought of it myself!”
Take a chicken breast for instance, how many ways can you cook it?
Well, you can boil it (blah!), broil it, bake it, fry it, slow-cook it, grill it, smoke it, even burn it
you can butterfly the breast and pound the meat thin (so thin it looks like a chicken pizza), season it, and briefly cook it over high heat.
After just 2 minutes in a hot pan, you have a crazy tender, deliciously thin chicken breast that is so succulent and juicy I can say without fear it’s one of the most great tasting piece of chicken I had in a long time.
I’ve learned this cooking technique in Marco Canora’s latest cookbook “A Good Food Day”, (which btw I discovered by listening to The Splendid Table on WNYC-FM.)
What’s genius about it, is that by pounding the chicken breast pizza thin, you increase the surface area of meat touching the skillet and that creates a delicious caramelized crust.
But that’s not it; the chicken also cooks more evenly, without drying, and — last but not least — it absorbs better the flavors.
It’s also super quick.
The longest part of the entire process is pounding the meat which btw is a great stress-reliever at the end of a long day.
Another extra-benefit to this method is that the bid size of the "pizza" meat tricks you into thinking you’re getting a lot more than just one breast. (When your plate looks full, you tend to believe you’re eating more)
In other words, this is your typical win-win-win situation.
One final note, I’ve flavored my pounded chicken with a mix of Indian spices, feel free to play around with different spices and herbs though. There’s no going wrong with this recipe!
Indian Flavored Pounded Chicken Print this recipe!
A couple of notes. As per the author suggestion, I’ve used small chicken breasts as they’re easier to pound out to a uniform thickness.
You can also prepare the breasts ahead of time, cover them chicken in plastic wrap before flavoring them and refrigerate. They’ll keep for up to 2 days.
4 (6 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons onion powder
3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a small bowl combine ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.
Starting at the thicker side, using a sharp knife make a lengthwise horizontal cut into the top ⅔ of each chicken breast, stopping before cutting all the way through.
Fold the chicken breast open like a book (it should still be in one piece.)
Put it between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it out on both sides with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, working from the center out, until it’s spread to double its original size and about ¼ inch thick.
Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
Remove plastic wrap and rub the olive-spice paste evenly across one side of the 4 chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap again and lightly pound in the seasoning with the toothy side of the meat tenderizer. Flip the breasts, rub the remaining olive oil-spice o into the other side of the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and lightly pound in the seasoning.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large over high heat.
When it’s sizzling, add 1 chicken breast, put a weight on it (a cast iron pan or tea kettle should work) and cook for 1 minute. Flip, add the weight, and cook for another 1 minute (this may vary depending on thin your meat is, just make sure the chicken is cooked through!).
Transfer to a plate, and let it rest for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
One serving yields 344 calories, 13 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 53 grams of protein.