These small medallions of spicy chicken can be ready in less than 20 minutes for a quick weeknight dinner entree.
- 2 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
- 1/3 cup chipotle puree*
- 1/3 cup pecan pieces, finely chopped (largest pieces should be no more than 2mm)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- salt and pepper, to taste
* Chipotle puree: empty a 7 oz. can of chipotles in adobo sauce into a food processor (this is a great use for one of those small food processors, like the Cuisinart Mini-Prep). If your supermarket has even the tiniest selection of “hispanic foods”, chipotles in adobo will almost certainly be one of the products they carry. Process for 5-10 seconds, until thick and smooth in consistency, then transfer to an air-tight storage container. It will keep in the fridge for at least a month. You can also put it in an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once frozen, store the cubes in a freezer-safe zipper-lock bag. Be sure to wash any plastic the puree comes in contact with immediately, as it stains. If it does stain you can get rid of the stain with bleach.
- toaster oven with baking tray
- aluminum foil
- chef’s knife
- cutting board
- mixing bowl, minimum size 3/4 qt.
- instant-read thermometer (you almost certainly want a Thermapen to get an accurate reading within a few seconds. If not, while waiting for a reading either your chicken will get too cool or you will burn yourself).
- food processor (for making chipotle puree)
Pre-heat toaster oven on maximum broil setting. Line tray with aluminum foil.
Cut chicken into medallions: cut off thin end of breast at about 1/3 mark, leaving thick end as 2/3 by weight. Slice thick end in half through its “equator” to yield 2 more pieces approximately equal in thickness and surface area to the end piece. You should end up with 3 pieces about 2 inches in diameter about 1/4" thick at the thickest point, from each chicken breast half.
Combine chipotle puree, pecans, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Dip the chicken into the mixture and toss to combine and evenly distribute on surface of the chicken. Place the chicken in a single layer onto the toaster oven tray and broil until interior of thickest part of the thickest piece reads 160°F with an instant-read meat thermometer, approximately 10 minutes. Measure the temperature every minute starting at about 6 or 7 minutes because thinly-sliced chicken breast will get overcooked and dry really fast under a broiler.
Yields: 6 medallions, serving 2 as a small entree.