Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blackened Chicken

Overall my life is OK, but it is not perfect.  I lack many things, including a grill.  Someday the pain will become too great and I will deal with this shortcoming, but in the meantime there is a workaround: blackened chicken.  You will be amazed at what a little sugar and a hot skillet can do for you.  I'm sure it would also be fabulous on an actual grill, but we are going to fake it until we make it.

What do you do with blackened chicken?  Just about anything!    I've often eaten it as is with veg and a baked potato for dinner.  It goes well in Budget Bytes's Chicken Shawarma and the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Florentine Pasta.  But most often, I cook up a batch of chicken and use it to make chopped salads for lunch, and that's what we'll do today.

(Blackened Seasoning Recipe from Can You Stay for Dinner?)

  • Blackened Seasoning (makes enough to season three pounds of meat)
    • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon thyme
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Chopped Chicken Salad
    • Chicken breast
    • Veggies and lettuce
    • Feta Cheese
    • Balsamic Salad Dressing

Mix up the blackened seasoning ingredients.  The original recipe for blackened seasoning makes enough to cover one pound of chicken.  By the second time I made it, I realized that this quantity just would not do and tripled the recipe so that there is a reasonable chance I will always have some on hand when needed.

Trim up the required amount of chicken for your purposes - here I'm making up about a week's worth of chicken for salads.

Tenderize the chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet.

Sprinkle a generous amount of seasoning on the chicken and pat it in.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat to sizzling - the hotter the better.

Cook for a few minutes per side, until it has a gorgeous blackened crust on the outside and nothing pink inside.

Remove from heat.

Prepare a selection of lettuce and veggies.

Toss the veggies lightly with dressing.  Would you believe that I actually don't make my own salad dressing? Some day I may venture into the world of homemade salad dressings (it's not like I don't already have the ingredients), but that day is not today.  I'm particularly fond of Marzetti's Simply Dressed Balsamic

Top with a sprinkling of feta cheese and chicken, grind a little salt and pepper, and drizzle a little more dressing on top of the salad.

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