We have a big box of Tyson chicken breasts chilling in the freezer. I am, more or less, bored with chicken breasts, but they are affordable and versatile enough to make them worth the purchase. A few weeks ago, my lovely wife bought a cast-iron grill pan, a purchase that has paid for itself 3 or 4 times over already. It was our first foray into the world of cast-iron cookware, and although the maintenance and cleaning is less user friendly than our non-stick stuff, I must say that cooking on cast-iron is a treat. Everything is done evenly and on time, and since it is a grill pan, I get those awesome charred grill marks, which makes me thinks what I am going to eat is going to taste better than it actually does.
Well, we have a bottle of Lawry’s Mesquite Lime marinade that I decided to use as a base. It was a little sweet for my taste, so I combined it in a Ziploc bag with yellow mustard (Plochman’s of course), coarsely ground black pepper and a few healthy dashes of worcestershire sauce. Threw in the chicken boob and put it in the fridge to chill for about a half hour while I contemplated and began my side dishes.
Since we are poor and do not have the time to devote to cooking that I would like, I purchased 10 boxes of rice and pasta roni the previous night. I decided to go with the rice pilaf style, but before following the box instructions I sauteed 4 cloves of finely minced garlic in the pan with the 2 tbsps of butter called for, just to add a little something extra, since we are talking about rice-a-roni, here. Prior to starting the rice, I also emptied our can of Safeway sweet corn into the saucepan and put it on medium heat, and got the burner (read: stupid electric coil) under my cast-iron going. Once I got the rice to a simmer, I took out the chicken and gave it seven and a half minutes a side on the grill pan, rotating ninety degrees at the halfway mark, of course.
Took the chicken’s temperature after the 15 minutes was up and it was ready to go. Threw each breast into a separate little foil wrap (wifey wanted the teriyaki/pineapple marinade), took everything else off the heat, and then let the ladybird eat first, since the entire time I was cooking she was with the baby who decided she wanted to scream her little head off for about an hour or so.
Once the kiddo calmed down and fell asleep, my food was lukewarm, but still surprisingly good. The chicken came out far more flavorful, tender and moist than I expected (probably because we usually pan-fry or oven-bake them) and it played very well with my $2 worth of side dishes. I washed the whole thing down with a Sam Adams Summer Ale, which I bought out of curiosity. I am not typically a fan of wheat beers, but I had a feeling that the good people at Sam Adams would put forth a more pleasing product than Coors’ Blue Moon, which tastes like hot-dog water to me.
All-in-all, it was a tasty and successful dinner and a good use of two chicken breasts.