Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Chicken California

I'm feeling quite spry today. I had a terrific time toasting the glorious weather over a long and leisurely brunch on Saturday (bucking tradition feels so good!) and reconnecting with a cherished friend from the past. She positively radiated happiness and it must have rubbed off a little bit, because I am ready to tackle the world! Whoo-eee. Being such a picture post-card kinda day, we opted to have a little al fresco lunch, something that tends to unnerve me, since planning a menu always gets my brain shooting off in about three thousand different directions...(does this happen to everyone or just me?)

In the end, in honor of her decade long exodus from this land (she had been living in Germany, which for a southern girl was a brave choice indeed) I decided to make my version of a California chicken - with a touch of spice, velvety avocados, vibrant tomatillas and a whole lot of sprouts. (Oh come on, what says California more than that combination!) On the side, a huge pitcher of icy cold blended margaritas was there to help make the years we missed out on eachothers company melt away. In case you cant tell by my rhapsodic commentary, it was a combination for the ages and one I will recreate soon. Try it, and enjoy.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
flour for dredging
large pinch ancho chile powder
salt and pepper
1 large avocado
2 roma tomatoes
4 tomatillos
1 small red chile pepper

In a large skillet, heat your olive oil until it shimmers. Meanwhile, on a plate, combine a few tablespoons of flour with the chile powder, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with a very, very thin, but uniform dusting of the mixture, then immediatly slide into the hot pan. Do not fuss with the chicken, just let it cook for about four minutes to let it get really nice and golden brown. Turn and cook the other side, then remove and blot with a paper towel. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the rest of the salad.

Puree the tomatillos in a blender. Divide the resulting sauce between two plates. Top the sauce with a chicken breast and then the sprouts, chiles, avocado slices, tomatoes and garnish it all with a squeeze of lime. (And a dollop of crema, well, that would be divine.)

Serves two


Britannia Spice in Leith was named the best restaurant in Scotland by the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs, which represents more than 9,000 eateries across the UK. The Nazma Tandoori Restaurant in Aberdeen and the New Balaka in St Andrews were also recognised as finalists for the regional award. The success of the three east-coast restaurants will be a blow to Glasgow, which has prided itself as the "curry capital of the UK".

Tomatillos belong to the same family as tomatoes.

The Aztecs first grew tomatillos as far back as 800 B.C.


I bet this chicken dish is perfect with margaritas.

Have a great weekend!
What a nice dish! I'll try to find tomatillos and make it! But if I don't, does it make a big difference if they are not included? And could I use something else instead?
Ooh Rachael, it just makes me dream of summer. Proper summer, not the kind of spring we've got here in Melbourne at the moment.

I've tagged you for the 23/5 meme - hope you have fun with it!
Plum, you peach! I am such a slacker, but I promise to get to it this week...thanks!
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