Butterflying

ButterfliedBreastNo, this post has nothing to do with butter.   But, it does have a lot to do with your paleo breakfast.  Why?  Because the comments I get from readers who hold traditional 9-5 jobs indicate that there’s not a lot of time to cook a great breakfast when you’re on your way to work every morning.  There are few solutions to that dilemma: 1) cook the night before or prepare an extra serving at dinner, 2) rely on paleo snacks on the go, like hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts, or 3) practice doing quick hot meals so you get good at it.  Here’s my take on the 7 minute breakfast so you can have a healthy start before your morning commute.  You’ve already figured out how to set up your programmable coffee maker, or at least set up your drip coffee maker so you can hit a button first thing in the morning.  This is the same concept.  Buy your pre-packaged, pre-washed salad greens, the night before, pre-slice a radish or carrot using a peeler or mandolin, butterfly a chicken breast, which means slice it in half so you can open it like a book (you can see “butterflying a chicken breast” on youtube).  When  you get up in the morning, go directly to the kitchen, pull your greens, root vegetable, lemon, and chicken out of the refrigerator.  Put a pan on the stove top, on medium heat.  If you can put your chicken on a plate near the pan, that will help it warm up while you go get dressed and ready for work.  By the time you return to the kitchen, your pan will be nice and hot.  Believe it or not, this is why it takes most people forever to cook a piece of chicken.  Starting with a hot pan makes a world of difference.  Put olive oil in the pan.  It should smoke immediately.  If it doesn’t, your stove isn’t hot enough.  If it smokes like crazy, it’s too hot.  Turn the stove down.  Pepper the chicken on the “binding” side  of your butterflied chicken breast and put in the hot pan, pepper side down.  It should immediately sizzle.  Do not touch it for 4 minutes.  In the meantime, put a huge pile of greens on a plate and top with your sliced root vegetable and a generous squeeze of lemon.  By now, your chicken is ready to be flipped.  2 minutes on the other side will finish your chicken.  Once it’s ready, serve it with your salad.  The lemon juice will be a nice, acidic contrast to the chicken and generous coating of olive oil.  Sometimes I’ll throw some minced garlic into  the pan for additional color and flavor.

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