Necessity truly is the mother of invention, isn't it? In my case, circumstances dictate that I not get fat and thus I've been forced to invent a method of cooking chicken breasts other than breading and frying them! After I spent the majority of the day in an internal argument about whether we'd have chicken schnitzel, baked chicken schnitzel (a decent compromise, but not a big enough one if I want to Iose 30 lbs. in two months*!), and exciting prospect of GRILLING the chicken! I hadn't really given grilling the four chicken cutlets in my fridge serious thought throughout the day (and I do devote generous thought to the night's dinner throughout the day, particularly when it may end up being wonderfully crispy chicken schnitzel pan-fried in butter and olive oil...but no, must remember the not getting fat part), for the most part I was resigned to baked schnitzel. Truth be told, baking a breaded cutlet of meat really doesn’t deprive you of that much flavor but it also doesn’t save me nearly enough calories or cholesterol (actually, probably cholesterol) to render it a real competitor to frying. When I informed my dining companion about my reluctance to prepare the fried schnitzel to which he had been robustly looking forward all day long, with none of these other heretical ideas about some other, non-fried preparation! But I’m lucky to have my dining companion because the fact is that he doesn’t really care how the food is prepared because literally nothing (except for pork, but not for religious reasons) can disappoint him. “Yeah, sure grilling sounds GREAT!” And it is a brisk night so I relished the fun of running up and down the steps to the patio to deal with the grill… but then I realized how tired I was, and the fact that my cheap old grill is really more of a novelty than an efficient cooking apparatus**…. I could fix the grill, I did buy a kit from the manufacturer and a new starter coil so that I don’t have to keep dropping a lit match into a cauldron of billowing propane and hope for the best….but that was back at the beginning of the summer when I had these grand aspirations of really getting things done that summer, particularly in regard to my patio: I was finally going to get proper pots for all of my flowers and plants and definitely water them properly and not let every single one of them die. I even got teak oil and special rags so I could polish up my patio chairs which have turned from their original lustrous mahogany to a color that, if it were a Crayola crayon, would be called “Old Central Park Pigeon Gray”. The point is that I am very lazy, generally; so, goodbye grill, hello broiler!!!!! Basically no home broiler, except some found in a few very very fancy ovens, gets hot enough to cook a steak properly, but I’ve yet to meet a broiler that doesn’t work brilliantly when cooking just about anything else. The broiler is also probably one of the healthiest methods of cooking since it doesn’t require any fat (necessarily). Plus: no sautéing = no splatter = less cleanup / me-being-lazy = perfection. Here’s the recipe and step-by-steppery representation. Marthonian or not Marthonian: I am genuinely proud of this recipe. It’s a variation of a grilled chicken paillard I used to make for my cousins in New York, but the dressing is more nuanced and even though I began to formulate, roughly, how I would make it while I was at the market, there were more options for flavoring as it came together. As I’ve said before, I basically don’t have failure meals, but my food does tend to be very boldly flavored and rich (when I just don’t care about healthy or not healthy) and muted (when I do care)— this dish, however, is balanced. Final Analysis: Utterly Mathonian, except it would unquestionably be better with fish. Not only is chicken just too bland to hold go without seriously strong flavorings, but the raw juices of the chicken seeping into the kale require a cooking time that, if not watched like a hawk, could be very easily overcooked. Quick-Marinated Chicken Paillard with Wilted Baby Kale and Tomatoes. For the chicken: 4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or really expensive bottled cold-press lemon juice if you’re a billllllionaire!) 2 stalks (branches??) fresh rosemary 1 tbsp. freshly chopped basil 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsp. Aleppo pepper (or 1 tsp. Cayenne— but Aleppo pepper is SO good) 1 1/2 tsp. Turmeric 1 tbsp. honey (whatever Grade you like!) 1 tsp. paprika (I like smoked paprika best for this but any will do) salt n’ pepa’ 1/4 cup olive oil FOR THE KALE: 1 lb. (or more?) fresh baby kale 1 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes 2 tsp. Sumac Optional: 1/4 cup Golden currants and/or a tablespoon or two of pine nuts would probably be very lovely in the kale. Try it and let me know how it goes but don't blame if for some unknown reason it is disastrous. Pre-heat your broiler to HIGH, and place a rack in the top two rows. In a medium cast-iron skillet, or if you’re not interested in dirtying up a pan and you also hate the earth you can use a disposable aluminum casserole, toss the kale, tomatoes and sumac with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Spread out evenly. Prepare the marinade: place all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the chicken pieces and the paprika, in a large mixing bowl (or a giant plastic bag, for the same reasons as using an aluminum tray) and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the skillet two rows from the top of the broiler. Add the chicken to the marinade and massage the meat so that each piece is thoroughly soaked in the marinade. By the time you’ve mixed the chicken into the marinade and washed your hands, your kale should begin wilting down (but if it hasn’t, don’t worry), remove from the oven and place on a stable surface. Using one hand start removing the chicken from the marinade, giving it one last dredging to let it soak up as much of the crushed garlic and herbs as possible. Allow the chicken pieces to drain of excessive marinade and arrange evenly over the kale, so that no piece of chicken is unexposed to the heat. In a teeny tiny precious little Pyrex mixing bowl, combine the paprika with some salt and ground pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the chicken pieces and drizzle with some more olive oil. Place the skillet on the rack closest to the broiler and cook for about four minutes, flip and add more paprika mixture, then cook for another four to five minutes. If it turns out a little bit dry, don’t dismay! Just do as either my dining companion did - and eat 75% of the finished product before you even get a fork!- or as I did, by letting it nearly freeze (along with yourself) by not eating any of it because you’re too busy writing the WORLD’S LONGEST RECIPE!!!!!!! Also, remember to make it again but with cod (or something.) **NB: If you would like to help rectify this scandalous problem, please give generously to the “Buy Marthonian A Large Lovely Grill” fund. Alright, we've got lemon juice...aaaaand??? Kale, about to be sumacked up. (Get it? It's in very poor taste.) Baby Kale and tomatoes, dressed for the broiler. Screw you grill! Hi Broiler, I'll love you forever....well, I mean, I'll totally dump you for a professional quality salamander. Sorry. (FYI: Salamander = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grilling#Salamander) There's mustard o'er there, but I didn't use it. I think I only brought it out of the fridge because my eyes saw olive oil and lemon juice and they probably told my hands to grab it because it looked like I could have been making salad dressing. Stupid eyes. Chicken, marinating quickly. I wouldn't recommend marinating this for more time than it takes to prepare the whole recipe as there is so much acidity in the marinade that even after five or so minutes you begin to see the edges of the chicken turning opaque. Any longer and you'll have chicken ceviche! (Fun fact: I once convinced my neighbor, whom I loathed, that chicken ceviche was a real thing, and he ate and died shortly thereafter of salmonella poisoning.) This is smoked Spanish paprika, or pimentòn, you don't have to use pimentòn...I mean, maybe you prefer a more mainstream flavor. Note how the pimentòn oozes it's wonderful color into the chicken. NOTE IT!!!!! See, it looks nice, right? It also looks like fish. Wait, it also looks like those juices in the background are kind of murky....are they not "running clear"? OMG, are we going to get e-coli or whatever? No, that's just the pimentòn permeating the juices! Oh, and as you can see, in the end I decided to get out a platter for serving, thus rendering the time I saved by not using a skillet irrelevant. Eh, whatever.