February 18, 2016

Dinner Diary: Grilled Chicken Cutlets

I didn't feel like cooking today....

I cooked last night for a friend, and was up late cleaning up. When I went at lunchtime to look and see if there were enough leftovers in the fridge to cobble supper out of, I found chicken breasts I forgot I had grabbed on sale yesterday at Grauls when I got the red chard. "Good, easy enough, I'll slice two of them into cutlets and grill them--that'll give me a couple of leftover cutlets for lunch, and a couple of breasts for the freezer. And since I put a little too much potato & tomato both in the red chard yesterday, I'll reheat the leftovers and count that for two veggies and three colors."  I put the breasts to soak the afternoon long in a brine [1/4-C salt:1-qt. water].

Didn't have enough lunch, so ready for early dinner.   For courage, let me pour out a glass of Cava and a handful of pistachios; and let's slice a slice of dried sausage, and fish a few olives out of faithful olive jar. Okay, now I can do this.  

Fish the breasts out of the brine, rinse, dry with paper towels. Pull out the long, sharp slicing knife.  Lay out the breast on the board, lay my hand outstretched on top of it pressing with even pressure, lower my eye to cutting plane, and slice, evenly, smoothly, across the middle, to make two cutlets out of one breast.  Pretty even, pretty good.

Salt and pepper each side evenly all over.  Put the ridged grill on the stove over high heat.  Meanwhile, grab the little non-stick saute pan, drop one dollop olive oil, one dollop water, in the center, dole out a serving of the red chard w/tomato-&-potato from last night, cover, and put over medium/medium-low heat to heat up slow and steamy.  

By now grill pan feels good and hot to my hovering hand, so I spray it all over with oil, then spear a wad of butter with a fork and run it across all the ridges to butter them up real good.  Now lay on the cutlets.  Don't touch them, until their edges pale, at which point, for good measure, press the fatter parts down a bit into the grill, to be sure those centers cook through. Peek under; grill marks look good; let's turn. Another couple minutes, again look under--they look good, and fork goes easy in to the fat parts; we're good to go. Wait, this little fatty here could use another another minute; let's turn him back over for with a quarter-turn, for a little cross-hatch. 

How about we squirt a little lemon on 'em.  

The chard looks moist and shiny, just in time to wing the cutlets. Hm, pretty good looking for not cooking--not much, anyway.

Okay, there's just enough lettuce left for my salad; little remnant of cucumber; still have some radishes; let's do dark balsamic tonight.

Trader Joe Mandarin is yummy.  
Trade Joe Cocoa Baton good with espresso. 
Done, and done good.