Monday, 17 April 2017

Spicy Griddled Chicken on Roasted Veg

Paprika spiced griddled chicken breast on roasted vegetables

Griddling (grilling) meats of many different types indoors is an excellent way of ensuring your meal is served tender, juicy and attractive on the plate. Yes, it requires extensive ventilation of one type or another in your kitchen due to the smoke but the many benefits of cooking in this way far outweigh that one minor inconvenience. While beef steak is probably the most common meat cooked on a griddle or grill pan of this type, a simple bit of careful experimentation can bring wonderful dividends.

Vegetables are oiled and seasoned for roasting

Ingredients (Serves 1)

1 12 ounce tray of mixed Mediterranean style roasting vegetables*
1 large garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of dried basil
1 skinless chicken breast fillet
2 teaspoons (approximately) smoked paprika
Vegetable oil for grilling

*You can assemble your own choice of similar vegetables in a small roasting tray if your local supermarket does not stock oven ready trays like the one used in this recipe


Put your oven on to preheat to 220C/450F/Gas Mark 8.

While you're waiting for the oven to preheat, lay the chicken breast fillet flat on a chopping board and very carefully cut it in half horizontally with a cleaver or chef's knife. This is not difficult but obviously does require great care. It is best done by laying your free hand flat on top of the chicken as you slowly slice through it.

Sliced chicken breast fillet

Lay the chicken pieces on a large plate and scatter with the smoked paprika on both sides. Rub the paprika in to the flesh gently with your hands. Do not salt at this stage as the salt will draw some of the moisture from the chicken as it marinates and lead to it perhaps being served tougher than it should be. Cover the plate and set briefly aside.

Chicken is seasoned with smoked paprika

Peel the garlic clove and grate it in to the tray of vegetables. Season with the salt, pepper and dried herbs before drizzling with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Stir carefully with a wooden spoon and place it on a roasting tray and in to the heated oven for half an hour.

Marinated chicken is oiled for griddling

When the vegetables are half way through their cooking process, start your cast iron griddle pan heating on the highest heat on your stove. It will take a few minutes to get smoking hot. Drizzle the chicken fillets with a little vegetable oil and ensure they are evenly coated all over but not excessively so. Remember always to oil the food when cooking in this way and never the pan. Season on both sides with a little salt and pepper.

Chicken slices are laid in smoking hot griddle pan

Lay the chicken fillets carefully in to the hot pan. They will take about three minutes each side to cook, depending upon their thickness.

Chicken is turned to cook on second side

Heavy duty cooking tongs are best used to turn the chicken. Never use anything made of plastic, such as a spatula, when cooking in a pan of this type.

Cooked chicken is briefly left to rest

Lift the chicken fillets to a heated clean plate when done, cover with tinfoil and leave them for a few minutes to rest until the vegetables are ready.

Roasted Mediterranean vegetables

Lift the roasted vegetables with a slotted spoon on to your serving plate and arrange the griddled chicken pieces on top.

Tucking in to super tender spicy chicken