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How-To

Give Chicken Breasts a Flavor Boost

Try a spicy Jamaican rub, a citrusy marinade, or a jalapeño-spiked stuffing

Fine Cooking Issue 11
Photos: Ellen Silverman
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A boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked just plain is, well, pretty bland. But think of that blandness as a blank canvas: chicken has the ability to pair up with a wide range of flavors, from mellow mushrooms to hot habañeros, and to absorb the flavors of its seasonings. This alone would make for a versatile food, but consider how many ways you can prepare chicken breast: flattened and rolled around a filling, it’s an elegant entrée; sliced in thin strips, it goes into stir-fries or fajitas; in chunks, it can be part of a stew or grilled on skewers. And let’s not forget that it’s quick to prepare and low in fat.

Dodge tells us how to select good chicken at the store, how to prepare and trim breasts,  how to flatten them for even cooking, and how not to overcook them. Since seasoning is crucial to flavorful chicken, she teaches us how to use marinades, rubs, and coatings; she shares two recipes for each category. Entrée recipes demonstrate the chicken breast’s versatility. Recipes include: Southwestern Chicken in Parchment; Gorgonzola-Stuffed Roulades; Chicken & Sweet Pepper Stew; Ginger-Citrus Marinade; Curry-Yogurt Marinade; Jamaican Spice Rub; Three-Pepper Rub; Cornmeal Nut Coating; and Parmesan Breadcrumb Coating.

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