We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Boneless and Breaded Chicken Breasts — How Do I Love Thee? Even More When Thou Art Gluten-Free!

by Michelle

"First we eat, then we do everything else." M.F.K. Fisher

   Precooked Breaded Chicken is the darling of the frozen section of the grocery store. You know why? Those tasty morsels are frickin' delicious. Especially when the little guys are paired with Ranch Dressing. In addition, I particularly like to amp up the flavor quotient by drizzling on a mighty dose of Frank's Redhot® Buffalo Wing Sauce (for a spicy kick right in the taste buds). Being gluten-free, and liking to be very choosy about the chicken that I buy because most commercial chicken is filled with added hormones and antibiotics—I always make my own at home.

One of my all-time favorite sandwiches, The Buffalo Chicken is absolutely 
finger lickin' good. Canyon Bakehouse® gluten-free buns are a great choice. 
Frank's Redhot® Buffalo Wing Sauce is gluten-fee and Paleo-friendly.
   In my book, Chicken Caesar Salad is a contender for the best salad of all time. On a weekly basis, I either make it at home for a quick dinner or order it for lunch. The famous salad is particularly tasty when warm slices of breaded chicken are splayed over the top.
   And, don't even get me started on Chicken Parmigiana served atop a swirl of marinara coated spaghetti and garnished with a chiffonade of basil. To. Die. For.

Crave-worthy Chicken Parmigiana in Michelle World has a slice of Prosciutto nestled 
underneath the melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Breaded Chicken Breasts are the basis for Chicken Piccata

   Invariably Linda and I find that the best time to catch-up with each other is when we're preparing dinner. We will both have our speaker phone setting on as we move through our normal kitchen activities of preparing a meal from scratch. Interspersed with our chatter, we can often hear the action of the knife blade on the cutting board, a block of cheese moving across the teeth of the grater, or something sizzling in a pan. We feel lucky that even if we can't be in the same kitchen at the same time, we are still sharing our love of cooking together on a frequent basis because this much we know is true— True friendship isn't about being inseparable, its about being separated and nothing ever changes.

From left to right: Juliette, Linda and Michelle—Photo taken by Fernando Serrano
A weeknight staple at our house—my gluten-free Chicken Caesar Salad.

Boneless Breaded Chicken Breasts (Gluten-Free)

Don't hesitate to make this for your regular week night meals. It can be made in a flash and it is super scrumptious.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts—I buy mine at Whole Foods Market® for the reasons mentioned above.
Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix (Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free)
Old Bay® Seasoning
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
garlic powder, optional
smoked paprika, optional
about 1/4 cup high heat oil for frying, such as ghee or coconut

Special Equipment:
plastic wrap
a minimum of a 9.5-inch x 2.75-inch non-stick Saute or Frying Pan

The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are pounded thin using a mallet.
1. Place two slightly overlapping sheets of plastic wrap on the flat work surface. Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts on top. Place an additional sheet of plastic wrap over the top. With a mallet, pound each chicken breasts to a uniform thickness of approximately 1/4-inch.

Seasoning the flattened chicken breasts.
2. Remove and discard top sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with sea salt, freshly grind pepper over each breast, then sprinkle lightly with garlic powder and smoked paprika, if using. Rub on a heavy coating of the Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix. Gently rub the mix into all the nooks and crannies. Flip the chicken breasts over and repeat. I let the breasts rest for 15 to 20 minutes until I'm ready to cook.

This batch is almost done. 
3. Preheat the pan over medium-high heat, then add the high-heat frying fat of your choice. Quickly coat the breasts again with the excess flour and spice mix that surrounds the breasts, then carefully add two breasts to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the breasts for 4 to 5 minutes until golden; flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
4. If you are cooking chicken in batches, simply remove the cooked chicken to a placed on a cookie sheet (to catch any drips). With the chicken elevated on the rack, the coating will not get soggy as the chicken sits. I prefer to wipe out the pan with paper towels, and start each new batch of chicken with fresh oil.

5. If you will be baking the chicken for a few minutes, for Chicken Parmigiana, then cook the chicken for about 4 on the first side and about 3 to 3-1/2 minutes on the second side. Place in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.
6. I always make extra chicken and refrigerate so I can make a quick salad or sandwich. To warm the chicken and re-crisp the crust, place the chicken on a rack that's been placed on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for about 15 to 20 minutes.

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