My No Microplastics Diet needed more variety. Had I known that impulsively boiling a chicken breast in oil would produce a new No MPs Recipe, I’d have taken a lot more pictures for this post.
Note: For the full backstory and explanation of the No Microplastics Diet plus its necessity for me personally as well as its health benefits, see Berrymato Power Shot Smoothie.
The last few days had been…hectic is too mild a word. Sink drain clog still not corrected, ripped up carpet removed and new flooring on the way for the living room, a bedroom door that needed to be rehung before it fell off the hinges and on the floor, you name it. There hadn’t been time to write even a paragraph for my current fiction series, my wife’s Honey Do list certainly wasn’t getting any shorter, and my list of projects left unfinished was steadily increasing, from somewhere around 17 to more than 20.
Stress much, cowboy?
In truth, the stress was not really that bad, but sleep? Yeah, that’s been on the short side. But full plate or no full plate, I still need to eat and my diet allows for nothing I haven’t cooked myself, from scratch. So…time to master the mighty and dreaded chicken breast.
The last chicken breast I fried up was pretty much a rubber disaster. Intimidating. Discouraging. Oversized, too. Such a ginormous hunk of breast meat could have come from a young turkey. Fortunately, its mate was sitting patiently, waiting for me to take another shot at cooking non-bouncy chicken. Unfortunately, the day had flown by with giant chicken breast #2 still in the freezer, chilled to the consistency of solid igloo brick for weeks. There wasn’t enough time to thaw the breast via any traditional process, so why not just toss it into the cast iron skillet and thaw it “on the job,” so to speak?
The result couldn’t possibly be any worse than my previous effort.
Just how big was this particular chicken breast? It filled a good percentage of a 10 inch skillet and was at least as thick as a 2″ x 4″ piece of lumber. Maybe thicker. I could only hope it didn’t end up tasting like Ponderosa pine.
And so, on to the recipe:
Note: All spice amounts are estimates as I never measure spices, just sprinkle them onto the meat until it “feels right.”
CHICKEN BREAST BOILED IN OIL
+ 1 large chicken breast, the bigger the better
+ 1 pint grapeseed oil, safflower oil, or any combination of the two
+ 1/2 tbsp. Red Utah Jurassic Salt
+ 1 tbsp. thyme
+ 1/2 tbsp. parsley leaf flakes
+ 1 tbsp. onion powder
+ 1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
+ 1 tbsp. roasted ground cumin
Place 10″ cast iron skillet on stove burner. Pour a “shallow pool” of oil, approx. 1/4 cup, into the skillet and turn burner onto Medium heat. Place ginormous chicken breast (frozen or thawed) in center of oil pool, then position burner control to Medium heat. Add salt and spices, sprinkling them liberally atop the frozen breast. Cover until breast is sizzling in oil, then add the remainder of oil. (This should have the lower third to one half of the thick breast sitting in oil.) Cover skillet again and let things cook for a while.
When it “seems right” (after approximately 15 minutes after oil starts to boil if the breast was frozen to start), turn chicken breast over. Spices are now on the bottom and beginning to mingle in the “oil pool.” Periodically test depth of thawed chicken using a knife or fork. When it feels like one side is well thawed at least a third of the way through, begin carving slices (approx. 1/4″ to 3/8″ inches thick) from the monster breast, These “filets” will finish cooking rather quickly as they are now completely covered in boiling oil.
Filets will finish cooking at different times. As they turn completely white all the way through, use a fork to lift fully cooked filets from the oil, placing them on a plate and slicing them into bite sized chunks.
Looks good, doesn’t it? Nor are looks deceiving. I immediately went to the fridge, scrounged some leftover mashed potatoes to put into a bowl, added a bunch of frozen peas, and nuked the pair (peas and potatoes) to serve as a side dish. There was a lot of chicken on that plate, yet 95% of it was more or less inhaled before my awesome self restraint kicked in and the tiny remainder was relegated to the fridge for later.
What are the cons to this recipe, you ask? I can only thing of one: The skillet will take a while to clean since our kitchen sink is still out of commission. That’s a small price to pay for a meal that so effectively increases the variety of my No Microplastics Diet. It went down easily and settled smoothly.
This one gets Five Stars without question.