I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you’re tired of rubbery grey/white chicken with no flavour then be sure to watch the video for my tips on how to achieve golden juicy pan-fried chicken breast. This is a staple meal that I make often when I’m in a rush and I want a mix of comfort food and nutrition.
Of course, it’s easy to modify this recipe to your preference. Sometimes I do a smooth creamy mashed potato or I’ll blend peas with a little salt and olive oil if I am cooking for someone who wants to avoid starchy carbs. As you can see from the video, it’s faster than you would assume and within half an hour you can be sitting down to a wholesome healthy meal that is very filling and satisfying.
400g chicken breast
1 medium lemon
1 medium garlic clove
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
200ml olive (100ml for aioli, 100ml for oiling pans)
Fine sea salt (it really depends how salty you like your food)
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon capers
A few leaves of parsley finely chopped
- Take chicken out of the fridge.
- Preheat grill to medium high or about 180degrees Celsius.
- Slice zucchini lengthways and then diagonally and arrange flat on a baking tray with baking paper.
- Juice half a lemon and put it aside for the aioli later.
- Chop the whole lemon into thick slices and add to the zucchini tray.
- Crush a garlic clove with the side of your knife, remove the skin and chop into four and scatter on the tray to flavour your zucchini.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the zucchini and season with salt then place under the grill.
- Chop potatoes (and peel if necessary) into small cubes.
- Drizzle a little oil into a heavy frying pan, arrange all the potato cubes so they’re all touching the pan (you may have to cook in two batches if your pan is small), top with a little more olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, then put on a medium/high heat on the stove.
- Separate the egg and put the yolk into a large mixing bowl. You can keep the white in the fridge to add to scrambled eggs tomorrow morning perhaps.
- Mix one teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the yolk.
- Slowly drizzle 100ml of olive oil into the bowl while whisking the egg yolk constantly. Don’t rush and if you have someone around to help, ask them to pour very gently so you can focus on whisking. If you are cooking for three or four people, you can simply add 50-70ml more olive oil to extend it without having to add another yolk. Or you could extend it with a little natural yoghurt later on.
- Quick! Check your potatoes! Sorry, you were so busy whisking you may have forgotten about them. You can also flip your zucchini around so the other side grills.
- Now back to the aioli. When it’s thick and yellow and you’ve added all the oil, pour in the lemon juice we squeezed earlier.
- Add 1 tablespoon of capers or however many you like.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and taste to see if it might need some more of anything. Sometimes I add a bit tablespoon or natural yoghurt or I finely chop roasted garlic. If you like garlic, you could take the clove pieces that have been grilling and chop them up and add them in now. However, I like a very smooth aioli for this dish so I left it out but it’s a wonderful flavour combination. If you love parsley, you could finely chop it and stir it through the aioli at this point. Or just leave it to top your dish later.
- Potatoes might be done by now so check on them.
- Unwrap your chicken and place it between two sheets of paper towel, then wrap in newspaper or a plastic bag and give it a good bash with a can/mallet/rolling pin to make sure each breast is an even thickness the whole way around.
- Put a frying pan on high heat with a little olive oil.
- Now pat chicken with the paper towel to make sure it is dry and then season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides.
- When your pan is nice and hot lay each breast in the middle and then leave for 4-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile you can clean up the kitchen a little. Sometimes, if it’s really hot I plate up the zucchini and potatoes at this point so everything is ready to go. However, if I want to serve the whole meal hot I will heat the oven on very low at this point and put the plates with the zucchini and potatoes inside in case they’ve cooled down too much while the chicken is cooking.
- When the chicken breast pulls away easily from the pan and has a nice golden outer edge, turn to cook the other side for about 3-4 minutes. Some chefs add butter and garlic in at this point, spooning the butter over the chicken once it’s melted, which is delicious.
- Once the other side is golden as well, remove from the pan and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing on a diagonal so you can make sure it is all cooked inside. There would be nothing worse than serving friends of family a piece of chicken only for them to cut inside and find it still pink and raw. This way, if by some chance you’ve removed it too early from the pan you can just pop it back in again.
- Layer chicken on a bed of crispy potatoes, with a side of zucchini and top with aioli and finely chopped parsley. Enjoy with crisp white wine!