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From the food editor: Make the most of your meat with this chicken breast recipe

White meat doesn’t have to be flavorless. Need proof? Try Peachy Ranchero Chicken.

MICHELLE STARK | Times

White meat doesn’t have to be flavorless. Need proof? Try Peachy Ranchero Chicken.

This week, we're talking meat.

Specifically, what different types and cuts can bring to your dinner table. Our cover story this week is all about lamb, so let's start there.

Lamb is a red meat, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily higher in fat and cholesterol than all white meats. Some cuts of lamb, like the loin or the leg, are in fact a lean meat.

The meat tends to be gamier than other red meat, like beef, so it is typically worked into stews or ground and turned into burgers or meatballs. For more on the different cuts and ideas for how to cook it, click here.

Lamb naturally has a strong taste, as most red meats do, because the high amount of fat contributes to more flavor.

Conversely, when it comes to white meat, we need to work a little harder to inject some flavor into it. That's what makes chicken breasts one of the trickiest meats to perfect, and the one cut of meat that I am constantly looking for new ways to cook.

This week, I had chosen a recipe that called for coating chicken breasts with Parmesan cheese and Greek yogurt before baking them in the oven. When I went to the store to purchase the ingredients, I stumbled on another recipe.

The store was featuring a recipe for chicken cutlets, sauteed then topped with a simple mixture of salsa, black beans and peaches. Using cutlets prevents the meat from drying out, because it can be cooked in less time, and topping the meat with the salsa mixture keeps it moist.

 

easy

Peachy Ranchero Chicken

Ingredients

  • For the chicken:
  • 2 medium fresh (or frozen) peaches
  • 4 chicken breast cutlets (about a pound)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • For the corn bread (optional):
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups nonfat milk or nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lime, zested
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

  1. Make the chicken: Roughly chop peaches, then set aside. Preheat large, nonstick saute pan on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Season chicken with salt. Place oil in pan, then add chicken; cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove chicken from pan.
  2. Add salsa and beans to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Stir in peaches and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Meanwhile, chop cilantro and slice avocado.
  3. Place chicken on serving platter; top with sauce, cilantro and avocado.
  4. Make the corn bread: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place oil in a 9-inch cast iron skillet or similar-size glass baking dish and transfer to the preheating oven.
  5. Mix cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and milk (or buttermilk); stir until just combined. Remove the pan from the oven and swirl the oil to coat the bottom and a little way up the sides. Very carefully pour the excess hot oil into the cornmeal mixture; stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the hot pan.
  6. Bake until the bread is firm in the middle and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest.
  7. Meanwhile, cut butter into small pieces and place in medium bowl to soften. Zest lime peel, about 1 teaspoon's worth, and add to butter along with chili powder. Stir. Spread mixture on top of corn bread while corn bread is still warm. If mixture does not melt, stick it back in warm oven for 2 to 3 minutes until melted. Serves 4.
Source: Adapted from Publix

 

From the food editor: Make the most of your meat with this chicken breast recipe 04/11/16 [Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2016 2:11pm]
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