Campanile’s Flattened Chicken Breasts


CampanileI thought I’d do something a bit different today. Because I wanted to show you an easy recipe for chicken. We could all use a simple meal every now and again. Why not make it easy and delicious.

This recipe is for Flattened Chicken. I got this recipe from the Los Angeles Times. They printed it as a request from a reader. That reader fondly remembered Flattened Chicken as one of the signature dishes of the former Campanile here in Los Angeles. That dish was known there as Crispy Flattened Chicken Breast. I remember it fondly too. It was big enough to share and it had crisp of a crust that I had never known chicken to have before. I (like the reader from the LA Times) just assumed that without the massive wood fueled oven that Mark Peel presided over, there was just no easy way to get that flattened chicken crust at home.

The LA Times proved me wrong (thank you, thank you, thank you). This recipe really is easy.

As delish (that’s a blog word– it means tasty) as this dish is, it’s hardly unique to Campanile or Los Angeles. It’s a rather well-known Italian preparation that’s most typically made with a whole chicken, split and partially boned. Similar to what a grill-meister (like Nibble Me This) might call spatchcock. What makes this version so appealing to me is that it’s made with boneless chicken breasts– and it’s made on the stove.

I’m not saying that boneless chicken breasts are my favorite cut of the bird. That honor belongs to the thigh (bone in). But most folks prefer the breast– or at least they say they do. (Though I’m convinced that in a side-by-side blind taste test most people would find they prefer dark meat). But I digress.

However, it’s the fact that most people (think) they like the white meat that makes me like this recipe so much (oh, and the fact that it’s cooked on the stove top– did I mention that?). This flattened chicken breast has a crust of super crackly, crunchy skin (Mark Peel would call it crispy). Which makes it about the best way I know to eat the white meat. The breast lovers among us won’t know that the skin and the cooking method add fat (and flavor) to this, the blandest of meats. Even if they push the skin aside, we’ve fooled them. They’re getting flavor nonetheless. Making it perfect dinner party fare. GREG


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