Incredible 10derized Tuscan Chicken

I located this recipe, by Marco Canora, at splendidtable.org – it’s a good one that offers several variations for the discerning palate. I introduced a few minor alterations within the overall scheme of things just so you wouldn’t have to be bothered by the old, messy way of tenderizing a chicken breast. Bon appetit!

Chicken breasts are lean, full of protein, versatile, and are capable of carrying a ton of flavor and juiciness if you cook them right. To do this, butterfly the breast and use your 10derizer to thin the meat a bit, so it cooks evenly and quickly without drying out. This will also increase the surface area of meat that touches the pan, leading to that deeply flavorful crust that you’ll want. Make a mixture of Tuscan flavors - olive oil, chopped sage and rosemary, lemon, and garlic—and use your 10derizer to work the spices into both sides of the chicken breast. You shouldn’t have to cook each breast more than about 90 seconds in a hot pan.  If you do it correctly, the end result should be something that tastes similar to dark meat. Another plus in all of this is the size of the thinned-out breast – it’s much larger, which fools you into thinking you’re getting a lot more than just one breast. Also, remember that smaller chicken breasts are best, as they’re easier to tenderize over that of thick, heavy chicken breasts. You can also prepare the breasts ahead of time - just cover them in plastic wrap and refrigerate - they’ll keep for up to two days. You can also cook more than one at a time, but be sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, or you’ll have a hard time getting a caramelized crust.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Grated zest of 2 small lemons
  • 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons for cooking
  • 4 lemon wedges

 

Instructions

Starting at the thicker side, make a lengthwise horizontal cut into the top two-thirds of a chicken breast, stopping before cutting all the way through. Fold it open like a book. (The chicken breast should still be in one piece.) Use your 10derizer on both sides with, working from the inside out, until the chicken breast is spread to almost double its original size and about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining breasts.

Pile the sage, rosemary, lemon zest, and garlic on a cutting board and chop together until blended. In a bowl, combine the herb mixture, salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and 8 teaspoons of the olive oil. Divide half of the herb paste evenly across one side of the 4 chicken breasts and rub it in. Cover with plastic wrap again and lightly 10derize-in the seasoning with the toothy end of the 10derizer. Flip the breasts, rub the remaining herb paste into the other side of the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and lightly 10derize-in the seasoning.

In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil (regular olive oil, not extra virgin olive oil) over high heat. Wait 2 minutes, or until it’s smoking hot, add 1 chicken breast, put a weight on it (a teakettle or heavy pan) and cook for 45 seconds. Flip, add the weight, and cook for another 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate, and let it rest for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over each flavor-10derized chicken just before serving.

 

Variations 

While Tuscan flavors are wonderful, you can make one of the variations below. Except for the couple instances that I’ve noted, steps 1 and 3 are the same for all. Once you get an understanding of the process, I encourage you to follow your own preferences and start 10derizing whatever flavor you like into the chicken.

Image of a tender Indian chicken breast sliced on a cutting board

Indian

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

For step 2: In a bowl, combine the cumin, turmeric, onion powder, coriander, salt, several grinds of pepper, and the olive oil. Season and 10derize-in as described in the main recipe.

Maple Spice

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup

For step 2: In a bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Divide half the spice mixture evenly across one side of the 4 chicken breasts and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup over each. Rub in the seasoning and maple syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and lightly mix in the seasoning with the toothy side of the meat tenderizer. Flip and rub the rest of the spice mixture into the other side of the chicken breasts. Drizzle another 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup over each breast. Lightly mix in the seasoning.

Italian-American

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

For step 2: In a bowl, combine the garlic powder, oregano, salt, Parmesan, several grinds of pepper, and the olive oil. Divide half the oregano mixture evenly across one side of the 4 chicken breasts and add 1/4 teaspoon tomato paste to each breast. Rub in the seasoning and tomato paste. Lightly work in the seasoning with the toothy side end of your 10derizer. Flip and divide the rest of the oregano mixture evenly across the other side of the chicken breasts. Add another 1/4 teaspoon of tomato paste to each breast and rub it in. Again, lightly work-in the mixture with the 10derizer.

Thai

  • Grated zest of 4 limes
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 4 lime wedges

For step 2: In a bowl, combine the lime zest, ginger, cilantro, cardamom, salt, fish sauce, and tamarind paste (if using). Divide half the mixture evenly across one side of the 4 chicken breasts and rub it in. Lightly mix in the seasoning with the toothy end of the 10derizer. Flip and rub the rest of the mixture into the other side of the chicken breasts, and lightly 10derize-in the seasoning.

For step 3: Substitute coconut oil for olive oil and squeeze a wedge of lime over each flavor-10derized chicken breast just before serving.

Image of a tender Japanese chicken breast sliced on a cutting board.

Japanese

  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dried seaweed granules (dulse, kelp, nori, any kind works)
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt

For step 2: In a bowl, combine the lemon zest, ginger, seaweed granules, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Season and 10derize-in as described in the main recipe.

10derized-chicken is excellent over greens. Toss arugula and sliced red onions with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Make a bed of salad on a plate and top it with an FPC. The residual heat from the chicken works its way into the greens and does something magical.