It’s Friday

Pound that chicken for flavorful dinner any day of week

This week I have a couple of really tasty chicken recipes for you. Not that chicken is my favorite meat. It’s not. Chicken must be very well doctored up for me to enjoy. You will never hear me order a boneless, tasteless chicken sandwich. No, that’s not my idea of good food.
When I was a teen it was my job to cook Friday night supper. My mother worked at a bank and was always late getting home on Friday afternoons. My go-to menu was oven barbecued chicken, potato salad, English peas, and toasted French bread. That was it, chicken every Friday night. And still one of my favorite menus.
Want flavor? Chicken piccata is it and probably my favorite chicken dish. It requires a little work and it’s probably not an entrée to prepare and serve when time is limited. But it is worth it. Serve it with angel hair pasta or linguine with a green salad and hard bread to sop up the sauce. I love the flavors of capers and lemon juice in one bite.
And here’s a good grilled chicken breast recipe. For Pesto Chicken Wraps you make your own tasty pesto for a different twist on grilled chicken. Serve the wraps as an appetizer or as an entrée along with macaroni and cheese and an apple salad. The flavors really work!
Both recipes require pounded chicken breasts. To do this: cover a cutting board with plastic wrap. Place one or two chicken breasts at a time on the plastic wrap and cover with another piece of plastic. Using a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin, pound chicken from center outward. Flip chicken over in the plastic and pound the other side, making the pieces a consistent ¼-inch thickness.
For your chicken eating enjoyment, any night of the week!

Recipes of the Week

Chicken Piccata
Deglazing loosens up the tasty bits of food on bottom of pan that add flavor to the sauce.

4 chicken breasts, pounded to ¼ inch thickness
Salt and pepper
About ½ – ¾ cup plain flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 lemon slices

Lightly salt and pepper both sides of meat. Dust lightly with flour, shaking off excess. Coat skillet with pan spray. Add 2 tablespoons oil, heat over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken 2 – 3 minutes on one side; turn and sauté other side with pan covered for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on warmed platter. Deglaze pan with wine and add minced garlic. Cook until garlic is lightly brown and liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add broth, lemon juice, and capers. Return chicken to pan and cook on each side for 1 more minute then place on warmed serving platter. For sauce: Melt unsalted butter in skillet and top with fresh lemon slices. When butter melts, pour sauce over the prepared chicken breasts. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Pesto Chicken Wraps
Lucky are you if you still have herbs in your garden!

1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness

Combine herbs, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a paste, about 1 minute. Set aside. Spread 1 – 2 tablespoons pesto over each pounded piece of chicken in a thin, even layer. Roll chicken from widest end as tightly as possible. Thoroughly coat rollups with cooking spray and place on a preheated grill. Use tongs to turn chicken rolls over every 3 – 5 minutes until done and slightly crisp. Secure rollups with a skewer or long toothpick if they start to unwind. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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