(A note about “Spotlight Ingredients”… Sunday is my favorite day of the week to cook. I’ll grill, broil, saute or bake the entire spotlight ingredient. That means that I could have a pork roast in the slow cooker or I could be frying a large quantity of pork chops. Whatever it may be, I will cook it all at once and then immediately reserve portions for the next two nights. To some people it may sound like leftovers, but it really is not when you consider you’ve just cooked the base for making three entirely different recipes in the following days.)
Chicken is probably the most versatile meat for cooking. I can’t think of many dishes that don’t go well with chicken. And then there are all the ways to cook chicken. Browning, roasting, poaching, baking, braising… Opportunities are endless.
When you are looking for ways to make a lot of meals with one big package of boneless chicken, the secret is to butterfly the breasts. Stores sell chicken by weight and often the breasts are sold whole. If you find breasts that have have been trimmed and cut into
smaller portions (tenders) they are going to be more expensive.
(Always check the price per pound to get an understanding of what you are paying for.)
So when I get home, I like to take the chicken right out of the package and, with a sharp knife, slice them down the side of the breast and then open it up to flatten. I then cut one breast into two and it is plenty to serve as a main entree.
I like to cook all the chicken at once. Usually I’ll rub it with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. I keep the seasoning light so the chicken will work with a variety of recipes later in the week. (I save the heavy seasoning for later when I make recipe-specific entrees.)
My other secret when it comes to chicken is once you have cut the meat into thinner breasts, place them over a very hot pan to sear in the juices. (I learned this technique when I was in the restaurant industry.) Don’t flip the chicken over and over again as you cook. Let it sizzle in one place for 3-5 minutes before flipping it to cook on the other side. The outside gets brown and the inside is juicy