Easy Flattened Pan-Fried Chicken Thigh or Breast

Flattened, Pan fried chicken is tender with a crispy exterior. So easy and delicious! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Moist in the middle, crispy on the outside, this easy protein main is something we make often. You only need a couple of kitchen items and about fifteen minutes of prep and cook time to get this dish on the table. Serve with rice and veggies, over a fresh green salad, or add to a pasta dish. This recipe is one of my Low Energy Recipes! 

I also love how easy it is to add variety to the dish by using different flavored salts! Now that summer is upon us, I plan on grilling this as well. Yum!

Flattened, Pan fried chicken is tender with a crispy exterior. So easy and delicious! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Life is busy whether you are dealing with chronic health issues, young children, or a busy career. A fast way to prepare chicken is helpful to get a good protein source on the table on a regular basis. Plus, our kids love it when prepared this way.

There are a couple of secrets to making this delicious. First, you need to flatten the chicken thigh or breast so that it will cook all the way through. Secondly, you can’t beat cast iron for getting a lovely crispier exterior. It does make a huge difference. Third, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper go a long way in making this flavorful, yet easy. Sometimes I use a little of flavored salt – smoked, for example – to add a more flavor without any extra work. Lovely!

True confession: I like pounding chicken as a way to release frustration. It’s therapy kitchen work!

Pastured chicken is best. We generally got second best with organic chicken thighs from Trader Jo’s as it’s more affordable and accessible.

Needed Kitchen Items:

I haven’t tried it yet, but my recipe for herbed garlic salt would also make a great seasoning on this! I need to replenish my stores so I can try it out.

Easy Flattened Pan-Fried  Chicken Breast or Thigh Method

Printable PDF 

This recipe is so basic, you don’t need exact ingredients, just the method!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs or breasts (at least one per person)
  • Unrefined salt or flavored salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Fat or oil of choice (I recommend coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, home rendered lard or tallow)

Method:

1.Trim chicken thigh or breast of extra fat with a small sharp knife. If using chicken breast, I prefer to cut them in half to make them a more manageable size. Place meat on a cutting board, and then place either a clean linen kitchen towel or a piece of parchment paper over the meat. Alternatively, place meat between two sheets of parchment paper or two clean kitchen towels.

2.Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently and evenly pound the thigh or breast until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon each per thigh or half breast), and set aside. Continue pounding all of the pieces of chicken, replacing parchment paper if needed, and seasoning them as you go.

3.Heat a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Once you feel heat radiating to your hand when placed several inches above the surface of your pan, add enough fat to the pan to lightly cover the bottom of the pan (about two tablespoons), and then place several pieces of chicken thigh or breast into pan. Don’t crowd. Let cook undisturbed until you see the edges cooking. Check underneath the meat, and once it is lightly browned, turn over and cook until cooked through the middle.

4. To serve, cut into strips.

Lemon Mint Tea (Using a Whole Lemon)

A refreshing, anti-inflammatory tea - served hot or cold! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

This easy tea combines the gentle flavor of mint with the bright, fresh flavors of lemon. I drink a quart of this almost every day as it makes me feel more energized and keeps me hydrated. It’s also soothing to drink when sick. Add honey for sweetness or when you have a sore throat. Pour over ice to make a refreshing iced tea!

This definitely has a big lemon punch to it, so if you don’t enjoy flavors on the sour side, don’t steep as long.

I created this method of making tea when I was brainstorming ways to include lemon peel in my diet on a more regular basis. I’ve been working on adding more anti-inflammatory foods into my diet, and lemon peel caught my eye.

Extracts from lemon peel have been studied in a wide variety of applications. It’s been associated with having an anti-cancer effect. 1, 2, It has possible uses for helping with heartburn and cholesterol caused gallstones. 3 Orange peel extracts could help with inflammation as much as ibuprofen. 4 Low Doses of Citrus peel extracts (CPE) “most likely can be used for the treatment of the T cell-mediated liver injury as in autoimmune hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, and chronic viral hepatitis.” 5.

Note that many of these studies were done with animals, and are still in beginning stages of research. But so far there is a lot of exciting research showing many potential benefits. My tea is not going to be the same as the strong extracts used in the above studies, but I figure it can’t hurt!

All to say, citrus peels not only add a big oomph of flavor, but they could be helping our health. This recipe is just one easy way to first of all not waste the most flavorful part of the lemon –the peel. But it also is a gentle way to include some of the benefits of citrus peel in your diet.

Notes on ingredients and supplies:

  • I make my tea in this French Press . I leave the lid off while it steeps, so there is no plastic and heat interaction. You could easily do this in a small pot, but I like the convenience of using my French Press.
  • Use whatever favorite mint tea brand you like! We recently planted to several types of peppermint in pots on our porch so that we have fresh available to use in recipes like this. But you can also use bulk peppermint tea,
  • Buy the best lemons you can. I buy organic lemons. Conventional peels may (will) have pesticide residue or waxes. I believe that organic lemons can have some waxes too, but use beeswax based ones. Best case scenario would be getting lemons completely untreated!

A refreshing, anti-inflammatory tea - served hot or cold! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Lemon Mint Tea (Using the Whole Lemon)

PDF for Printing 

  • 1 lemon, organic, washed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 bags of peppermint tea, loose tea equivalent, or several sprigs of fresh

Place thinly sliced lemon and peppermint in French Press. Heat purified water to boiling point. Pour over lemon and peppermint tea filling to the band on the French Press. Let steep for 15-30 minutes – the longer you leave it, the stronger it will become.

Drink plain, with honey, and reheated, if desired. I enjoy mine not super hot, so it’s usually perfect after steeping about 20 minutes.

Research Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11142088
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7948106
3. 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18072821
4. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453014000056
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121996/

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Creamy Winter House Salad Dressing

This dairy-free salad dressing will help you enjoy dark greens all year long! The secret to it's wonderful taste? Two special ingredients.

This creamy dairy-free dressing has rich undertones from surprising ingredients that make it perfect for dressing salads during the cold winter months.

Lately I’ve been craving big green salads and I’ve been almost obsessed with making this dressing to go over it!

The backstory to this dressing was a beautiful bottle of salad dressing my in-laws gave me from a restaurant up in Canada. My husband and I liked it so much that we were very sad when the bottle was used up. I wanted to create something similar in taste, but their dressing had a long list of ingredients, so I wanted something simpler to make at home. I honed it on two of the ingredients – tahini paste (ground sesame seeds) and tamari (gluten-free soy sauce). It sounds like such a strange addition to salad dressing, and a strange combination too, but it works so well!

When combined with olive oil and vinegar, the tahini adds depth of flavor, richness, and creaminess to the dressing. The tamari adds a more complex saltiness than just salt alone, and a deep satisfying flavor.

These two ingredients appear to be the secret to dressing we enjoyed from Canada, as it does taste very similar, despite being so much simpler.

A word on ingredients:

  • This is a good Organic Tamari brand.
  • Don’t use toasted tahini paste. I’ve been using a wonderful organic tahini paste from Trader Jo’s. This Organic Sesame Paste  looks similar. In the past, some tahini brands have been hard to deal with because the paste had gotten very hard, making it difficult to work with, but this brand and Trader Jo’s shouldn’t be a problem.
  • I prefer raw apple cider vinegar. If you need a substitute, I’d try fresh lemon juice.

I make this in a wide mouth mason jar with a wide mouth plastic mason jar lid (nonreactive lid).

For another dairy-free yet creamy salad dressing, see this other favorite salad dressing that pairs balsamic vinegar and coconut milk. Also, check out my cookbook, Fresh: Nourishing Salads for all Seasons for practical, beautiful salads.

This dairy-free salad dressing will help you enjoy dark greens all year long! The secret to it's wonderful taste? Two special ingredients.

Creamy Winter House Dressing

PDF file to print recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce, if not gluten-free)
  • ¼ cup of raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions: 

In a quart-sized mason jar (or container of choice), use a fork to combine the tahini paste and tamari, until smooth. Add the vinegar, and stir until smooth. Add the olive oil and stir again until combined. Put on the lid to the jar, tightly, and then shake to completely combine.

Serve right away, or keep refrigerated. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, and then shake to recombine ingredients, if refrigerated. (I keep my dressing in the door so that it won’t harden quite as much as when I put it in the back of my fridge).

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Instant Raspberry Hot Cocoa Mix (Dairy-free)

instant-raspberry-hot-cocoa

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

Rich cocoa mingling with creamy coconut and tangy raspberries.

Cold winter days were made for hot cocoa. It’s the time of year that is perfect for warming yourself by the fire and wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of cocoa.

You love hot cocoa, you savor the simple art of heating the milk on your stove in your favourite stainless steel pot and mixing your cocoa and sweetener together and whisking it into the milk.

But some days, you just can’t. You may be having a busy day. Or maybe you are just.too.tired.

Instant cocoa mixes from the store are tempting for those days when you aren’t going to be able to make a cup from scratch. Unfortunately, the ingredients are generally not nourishing. If you need it to be dairy-free, you are going to be hard pressed to find one.

Did you know that you can make your own dairy-free mix in 5 minutes?

Coconut milk powder is my go to for making instant hot cocoa. It is dairy-free and full of nutrients.

A basic mix is always nice to have on hand but sometimes you want something a little different. Raspberry and chocolate have long been a favourite combination of mine, second only to peppermint. I have enjoyed many cups of raspberry Earl Grey hot cocoa over the years.

This instant raspberry hot cocoa mix only has five ingredients, coconut milk powder, cocoa powder, unrefined sugar, freeze dried raspberries, and unrefined salt. It is perfect for those days when you need an easy to prepare cup of hot cocoa! If you prefer you can use powdered cow or goat milk.

Ingredients Needed:

Instant raspberry hot cocoa mix is also a perfect gift when paired with a cute mug!

Instant Raspberry Hot Cocoa Mix

  • 2 cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered cocoa (Fair trade and organic, preferred)
  • 3/4 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/8 tsp unrefined salt

Directions:

1: Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for about one minute or until the raspberries are completely powdered.

2:  Sift the mix into a bowl using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer to remove the raspberry seeds.

3: Store in a glass jar for up to a year.

Mix 1 to 3 TBS of cocoa mix with 8 ounces of hot water depending on the desired strength of the cocoa. Stir until smooth. Top with coconut milk whipped cream if desired.

Instant Raspberry Hot Cocoa
 
Serves: 3½ cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1 cup coconut milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered cocoa
  • ¾ cup unrefined sugar
  • ⅛ tsp unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for about one minute or until the raspberries are completely powdered.
  2. Sift the mix into a bowl using a sifter or a fine mesh strainer to remove the raspberry seeds.
  3. Store in a glass jar for up to a year.
  4. Mix 1 to 3 TBS of cocoa mix with 8 ounces of hot water depending on the desired strength of the cocoa. Stir until smooth. Top with coconut milk whipped cream if desired.