I had big ideas. I wanted to make a moody and mysterious dish of all black or blood red, inspired by my preoccupation with the brilliant series Hannibal. (My dish, however, unlike Dr. Lecter's creations, would have contained absolutely no human.) Alas, a hectic travel schedule for the first part of June put the kibosh on my plans and so instead I opted for this cheerful green number, complete with a cutesy name: herby chicken verde. My dark Hannibal-inspired dish will just have to wait.
No complaints, here, though. While it may not be gourmet, this glorified chicken salad - loaded with fresh tarragon, parsley, chives, basil, scallions, and garlic mayo - was just the thing for yet another sticky summer evening. I've presented it here plopped in Romaine lettuce cups to up the green ante, but this also makes a great sandwich.
Herby Chicken Verde
4 split (or 2 whole) boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, divided
1 bunch chives, chopped
green parts of one bunch scallion, chopped
10 leaves basil, cut into chiffonade
handful pea shoots
3/4 cup mayo, homemade or high-quality store bought
3 large cloves garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
Romaine leaves (optional)
To prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts, I always use this method from the Kitchn. It is 100% foolproof. In a nutshell, pound the breasts to an even thickness, salt and pepper, and dredge in flour, and, if you like herbs. For this version, I used 1 tablespoon each tarragon and parsley and 2 tablespoons flour. Cook over high heat in butter and olive oil for one minute on each side, then cover and turn the heat to low for 10 minutes. Do not take the lid off - that is key. Turn the heat off for another 10 minutes and you've got perfect moist breasts. Once cool, dice and combine with the leftover tarragon and parsley, chives, and scallion.
Next make your mayo: In a mortar and pestle or with the flat of your knife, smash the garlic cloves with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Once the garlic has been turned to paste, fold it into the mayo along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Add this to the chicken and herbs, and chill for a couple of hours. Before serving, fold in the fresh basil and pea shoots.
Serve on lettuce cups, in sandwiches, or on top of a salad.
Check out the rest of the color dishes on June 28 when Lazaro posts his round up. You don't want to miss it - one of the dishes glows in the dark. Pretty cool.