(I make a lot of chicken. I’m sorry. It’s cheap and it’s easy and it’s delicious and we are unabashed carnivores in this house.)
I threw this together one night in the following way: open the fridge, pull out everything that might possibly go together, pour it into a pan. It is by sheer good fortune it came out as good as it did, but let me tell you: it came really good. My partner asked what I called it so he could request it by name. Now it’s named after him. I encourage you to name it after whichever enthusiastic eater likes it best in your house.
4 thin-ish chicken cutlets (don’t use those paper-thin-sliced ones you can get at the supermarket. just cut chicken breasts in half down the short side and you’ll have two cutlets of reasonable thinness.)
4 – 5 cloves of garlic
Mustard (for this dish, I like grainy)
Coarse-ground black pepper
Kitchen sink, optional.
Start with your chicken breasts. Slice ’em up right and plunk ’em into a pan of hot olive oil. I find that to get them sufficiently golden-brown for my needs takes about 4 – 5 minutes per side over a pretty high flame. Salt and pepper them right in the pan – I’m a fan of this, rather than salt and peppering them before putting them in the pan, because it gets salt and pepper in the oil and helps build your flavor base – and when they’re nice and golden-brown on both sides, remove them to a plate.
Now you’ve got a pan of hot oil with chicken bits in it. This is a lovely thing to have. It has much potential. Turn the heat down to about medium, give the oil a sec to cool a little, and start adding your sauce components. How I like to do it is as follows: put in the shallot. Let it get transparent. Put in the garlic. Let it get a little garlicky. Then do a splash of cream. Just a splash! Maybe like two tablespoons/half a 1/4 cup measuring cup? Then do a dollop of grainy mustard (say a heaping tablespoon), one healthy squirt of sriracha (I have no idea, just do a circle in the pan) – oh, you should be deglazing this whole time, so I hope that’s going well – and then eyeball it. Add enough chicken broth to sort of combine everything, but you don’t want a super liquidy sauce. You want a reasonably thick sauce without having to cook it for ages and ages. So don’t go cray. Deglaze and add some fresh tarragon and some fresh basil. Not a ton! Just a bit of each. Little heavier on the tarragon than the basil. This is white-people food. Oh, you could also add peas if you want. I like peas and will throw them into places they don’t belong without batting an eye (this guy, for instance, no longer leaves home without a healthy handful of peas mixed in).
So deglaze and let it bubble for like a minute, then re-add the chicken and whatever juices collected on the plate. Make sure you get sauce on both sides of the chicken! Let it all cook for 3 – 4 more minutes and check your thickest chicken cutlet. When it’s done, the dish is done.