Pan-Grilled Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes
Pan-Grilled Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes, best made in a ridged cast-iron skillet or ridged griddle, takes no more than about 20 minutes to prepare, and is easily multiplied. You might want to make more than you need for one meal, as leftovers make outstanding chicken salad the next day.
For this recipe you can purchase thinly-sliced chicken breasts, or pound boneless chicken – breasts or thighs – with a kitchen mallet until thin. The reddish oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil (with or without herbs) provides distinctive flavor as well as color. If you are making salad and plan to hold it for a few hours before serving, wait to add the lemony avocado until just before serving.
For the basic recipe:
- 680 grams (1.5 pounds) thin-sliced or pounded-thin chicken breasts or thighs
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, or as needed
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
- Nonstick olive oil spray or vegetable oil spray
- 1 small (or half a large) red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
- 60-90 ml (4-5 tablespoons) julienned sundried tomatoes, drained of oil
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) raw pine nuts
To make into chicken salad:
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) mayonnaise
- Half a red onion, diced small
- Salt, to taste
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Curry powder, to taste (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 15-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) lemon juice
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with the oil and lemon juice. Toss to make sure the chicken is well coated; set aside.
2. Spray a ridged cast-iron skillet or ridged griddle with nonstick spray and place over high heat. When the pan is very hot, working in batches, put a layer of chicken flat in the pan. Allow the chicken to sear on the underside, then turn and sear the reverse until it is opaque throughout. Transfer the cooked chicken to a platter, cover, and keep warm.
3. Keeping the skillet over high heat, add the peppers and toss until until the edges start to blacken. Use kitchen tongs to transfer to the platter of chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Add the sundried tomatoes and pine nuts to the hot pan. Toss quickly until the pine nuts start to brown; this will take only a minute or two. Use kitchen mitts to lift the pan and turn the contents on top of the chicken. If desired, serve the chicken and toppings over rice, or allow to cool and proceed to make chicken salad.
4. To make into chicken salad: Dice the chicken and roughly chop the red bell peppers. Put into a bowl with the pine nuts. Add the mayonnaise and onion, and toss to combine. Season with salt, cayenne, and curry powder, if using. Peel and dice the avocado, tossing it well with lemon juice so all sides are coated. Add the avocado to the salad and toss lightly to mix. If desired, serve on a bed of greens.