Taking a break from my paper on social determinism in the French educational system (grâce à mon cher ami, Pierre Bourdieu), to write about a delicious dinner I made tonight and which I sincerely hope you try. It features a combination of strong and separately delicious flavors, notably pistachios, pomegranate, turmeric, and mint, spread under and over a slightly floured and fried chicken breast. The best part is it only takes 20 minutes to put together!
This is a side note, but in my opinion a rather important one: when choosing your chicken breast, please try to purchase a piece of meat that is about 1/2-inch thick, maybe a little thicker. I can’t be the only one who has walked into a grocery store only to find chicken breasts that are about 2 inches thick, and clearly pumped with all types of hormones that I’m not comfortable eating (and you shouldn’t be either!). Please stay away from the latter type of breast, and stick with the thinner ones; it not only seems more natural and logical to me, but anything thicker negatively affects the cooking time in the recipe.
Ok, on to more positive thoughts: a delicious piece of chicken. The pomegranate paste (the same as used in the walnut-pomegranate spread
recipe), adds a tangy, slightly bitter sweetness which complements the nutty, sweet, salty, and herby flavors provided by the pistachios and mint.
I would suggest serving this with any roasted or sauteed seasonal vegetables, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, or artichokes, or with a green salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
Golden Chicken with Pomegranate and Pistachio – serves 1
1 chicken breast, about 1/2- or 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon flour
1/4-cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/4-cup shelled pistachios
1 teaspoon turmeric
1. Wash and dry the chicken breast, and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Whisk the egg to combine and put in a shallow dish. Spread the flour in another shallow dish. Dip the chicken breast in the egg, making sure it is completely covered. Then place the breast in the flour, again making sure it gets covered completely.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken, and fry until cooked through, about 16 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the paste: place the mint, pomegranate paste, pistachios, turmeric, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender, and process until all ingredients are combined.
4. Before turning the chicken over (about 8 minutes into cooking), spread a layer of paste over the breast. Turn over and finish cooking through.
5. Serve on a plate, and top with remaining paste, and extra pistachios and mint leaves if desired.