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what to do with chicken breast fillets?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've got some chicken breast fillets here, but I've only got butter, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Is there anything I can do with these ingredients to make something decent?
post #2 of 11
Got any bread in the house for breadcrumbs? If so, you could probably do a version of Chicken Kiev.
Vera
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Vera
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post #3 of 11
Grilled breasts with a makeshift "Matre D" Butter or Italian Butter
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #4 of 11
When I first saw the title of the thread, I was thinking, "what CAN'T you do with chicken breast fillets?"

I would pound them out thin (hooray for more surface area), season them liberally with the spices you listed, and cook them slowly in the butter.

Bonus points if you have flour, bread crumbs, or even crackers or rice cereal (crunch it up in a baggie until it's a coarse powder) to coat them in.
For the best cakes in Spokane (and all the "weird" designs that other bakers won't do) visit www.cakes-by-sarah.com !
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For the best cakes in Spokane (and all the "weird" designs that other bakers won't do) visit www.cakes-by-sarah.com !
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post #5 of 11
Sarah's got the right of it.

Before pounding them out, brine the breasts for an hour in the refrigerator in a quart of water mixed with 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup salt and 3 tbs sugar. This will keep them moist when you saute them; in turn this gives you a little extra leeway and allows you to get a good surface without drying the meat out. Make sure you don't leave them in the brine for less than half an hour or more than two. Also make sure you dry them very thoroughly before moving on to the next steps.

Place them on your board, and open them up horizontally (butterfly) with your chef's knife if you're knife is sharp enough, and you know how. Then pound out gently. Season appropriately with salt and pepper. Go very easy on the garlic. Hold off on the oregano until the chicken is in the pan, then crumble the oregano very sparingly on the chicken.

Preheat your pan to saute heat (medium high flame), and add a little oil (if you have it) and some butter OFF THE FLAME. Swirl the butter in the pan immediately to keep it from browning. You want the level of oil and butter to be less than 1/4". That is, there should be more than enough to coat the bottom of the pan, but not a lot more.

Return the pan to the flame and add the chicken when the foam subsides.
Use as much heat as you can (without burning the butter). Thin proteins should be cooked hot to get some color on the surface. The coloring comes from a chemical change (the dreaded Maillard reaction) and means a sweeter taste as well as a better texture.

When you get the breasts in the pan, give them about forty seconds to start searing, crumble a little oregano over them, then start agitating the pan now and then. The meat will stick to the pan while the sear forms, then release as a result of your shaking. As soon as it releases, it's ready to turn. Cook the second side the same way. You're looking at about five minutes in the pan, total.

(I'd adjust the heat and the time so that the butter used for cooking was pretty well browned when I was done -- but hitting this right takes a lot of experience and timing. I'm hesitant to recommend it if you don't know what you're doing going in.)

Some pantry options:

If you have any cooking oil, saute the chicken in about half oil, half butter.

If you have wine or stock, deglaze the pan with either or both, reduce the deglaze and finish with a little butter. Don't forget to pour off the cooking oil/butter first.

If you have lemon, finish the chicken with a squeeze. This is very simple and will make a huge difference.

If you have flour or breading, milk and/or egg, prepare a Milanese or you may simply bread them in flour (and omit the oregano if you do). Cook at a lower temperature you want the crust to have time to brown.

If you have flour, just lightly dusting the seasoned breasts with flour before you saute, then making a thickened butter/jus sauce with the flour left in the pan is a wonderful thing. It's called meuniere in French, and most likely, along with a splash of wine and a citrus squeeze, is how I'd do it.

Got parsley?

Enjoy,
BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks a lot! Those are some great ideas. I will definitely try them!
post #7 of 11
>but I've only got butter, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. <

I'm sorry. This sounds more like some Iron Chef type test than a real challenge. Or maybe some culinary school assignment.

If this is all you really have, what you need to make is a shopping trip.

Look at all the responses so far that include: if you have some X. None of those things are exotic in the least. They're all basic items found in almost every pantry.

The things you can do with that chicken are unlimited if you start the recipe suggestions with If you have X, and confine X only to normal, everyday ingredients.

If you have some mustard.....
If you have some pasta......
If you have some greens....
If you have some bacon.....
If you have some salad dressing....
If you have some olives.....
If you have some flour.....
If you have some canned fruit.....
If you have some sliced ham...
If you have some oil.....
If you have some eggs.....
If you have some stock.....
If you have some rice....
If you have some tomato sauce...
If you have some cereal.....
If you have some nuts.....
If you have some milk.....

And these are just off the top of my head. I'm sure everybody can add three or a dozen addition such items without thinking too long about it.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 11
That is why my answer was a butter based sauce or topping with a piece of grilled chicken.....
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you.
post #10 of 11
I wasn't offended, Baseballer. I just find it hard to believe that all you have in the house are those six items and some chicken breasts.

Is your refrigerator door really that empty?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I ended up making chicken kiev. It ended up being a little dry, but it still tasted alright. Thanks for the help.
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