Easy Weeknight Chicken Dinner

Ingredients:

--1 package of thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts.
--Seasonings of choice (I used S/P, garlic powder and smoked paprika)
--Olive Oil (I used a Tuscan Herb oil I recently purchased)
--2 Tbsp butter
--2 Tbsp flour
--1 1/2 to 2 cups of Chicken Stock

Directions:

1. Lay the chicken breasts out on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Using a kitchen mallet, gently pound and thin the chicken just a little. Even though they are already thin sliced, this little bit of pounding will help tenderize it. Don't overdo it though! I pounded each of mine about 3 times and that was it. 

2. Heat a pan over moderately high heat (6-7 on a number dial) and add some oil to the pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. I use "Smart Balance" oil which is a blended oil of canola, soybean and olive oils. If you're using pure olive oil, you should also add a bit of butter to the pan as well, as the smoking point of olive oil is too low and will burn.

3. While the oil is heating in the pan, drizzle some olive oil (this is where I used my Tuscan herb oil) on each breast and season with your choice of seasonings. 

4. Add the chicken breasts evenly spaced in the pan and LEAVE IT ALONE!! If you try to turn it too soon, or mess with it, the meat will rip and tear. Let the chicken brown for about 4-5 minutes before turning. It should be easy to turn, if it sticks...leave it alone for another minute. Brown on the second side for additional 4 minutes or so. Lower the heat just a little (5-6) as well. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for a moment.

5. Drain the oil and grease out of the pan; but DO NOT wash it...those little bits of "stuff on the bottom" will add great flavor to your gravy.

6. Make the gravy. Now, everyone has their own preferred way of making gravy. Feel free to do your own. This is just how I make mine. 

                    --Add 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt over low-medium heat (4-5)
                    --Add 2 Tbsp of flour 
                    --Using a fork, whisk (or ideally a flat whisk) the flour and butter together to                                make a roux.
                    --Cook the roux, while stirring constantly for about a minute. 
                    --Continue stirring rapidly with whisk or fork as you as add the chicken stock.                            The roux will appear to be lumpy as you add the liquid. Keep stirring, and                             the lumps will break apart and smooth out.
                    --Season the gravy with a little salt and pepper and lower the heat to 4.

7. Return the chicken to the pan with the gravy and cover with a lid. Cook for about 12 minutes and then check with meat thermometer. Cook for additional time if necessary. (170 is what you're looking for...carryover cooking will take it to 180) Mine was ready in 12 minutes.  Let chicken rest for a few minutes on your plate before cutting into it.


    

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