Simple Chicken- Lightly fried with zesty flavor.
Ever been in a time crunch, and meal preparation is at the bottom of your list? Sometimes planning for lunch or dinner gets lost, on your list of things to do around your house with so many other things taking priority. I like to have a favorite go-to entree that is easy to defrost, prepare and a quick way to add immediate zesty, or spicy flavor, especially when you don’t have all day to marinade.
I like to marinade meats or cold salads, and I usually do stay a few steps ahead of the meal preparation chore, though sometimes before I am ready. I recognize that I didn’t allow time to marinade. Wow, it’s time to either cook or prepare to cook lunch or dinner, yet again!
I will usually look in my freezer first, take inventory of what I have and what I can defrost or cook for the day. Then I look into my spice rack and see what seasoning’s and spices I have or what fresh or frozen herbs could be assembled with my protein or vegetable dish.
Yesterday I found chicken breast, from my freeze that would need the least amount of time to defrost and be readily defrosted for cooking on-time before dinner, and I also found Italian bread crumbs in my cupboards, and nice lemons. Make sure to check the expiration on all spices and bread crumbs items in your cupboards before using to cook healthy meals, keep it fresh and healthy for everyone!
Suggestions for marinade and chicken: 2-medium-sized portions of chicken breast only, no bone, no skin. (dinner for 2)
Take two large pieces of chicken breast and marinade with one part olive oil and one part vinegar along with a few splashes of fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. If time permits, let marinade for a few hours in your refrigerator,alternating sides at least once to get the full flavor on both sides. Once marinated, or not- set aside your chicken, at room temperature,for 15 minutes, toss the marinade; warm a caste-iron skillet, if available, on low to medium heat and when hot add the cooking oil of your choice.
In a separate bowl, add a generous portion of your favorite mustard to bind the chicken to the bread crumbs. I keep Italian bread crumbs handy for times that I need to season and fry quickly. Next, spread your rested chicken portions with the mustard and then dip in the other bowl of bread crumbs. Drop in your skillet to be fried from 4 to 6 minutes per side using the best course of action for the size and width of your chicken breast.
Spicy Dijon, grainy mustard, honey mustard, German mustard
Make a side-salad of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. If you are in a pinch for salad dressing, mix one part olive oil, one part vinegar in a small bowl adding a splash of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve dressing separate from your salad, some folks, such as myself,only like a small sprinkling of salad dressing on their fresh salad. For some crunch in your salad, I always keep fresh-frozen vegetables in my freezer: I boil or steam broccoli or mixed vegetables in salted water and upon desired texture; I season with sea salt, pepper, and any type of season salt available, maybe Ms. Dash seasoning, lemon pepper salt, or even cumin, and a tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar. Serve with warm bread of your choice. The chicken has a tangy, but simple taste and can even be used again on a crispy chicken salad.
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