Here is a skillet supper that truly uses one pan to create all the components of a great meal. Crispy Chicken Breast Filets, flattened to quicken the cooking process, are paired with sweet corn medallions, bulb onions and fresh tomatoes. It’s a delicious party menu that utilizes peak seasonal ingredients to keep the flavor high and costs low. Outside of the pan, I’ve also included a dessert of Cherry Cream Pie which is a revelation in contrast to the recipes found on the back of cream cheese packets.
Norm’s Notes: Seasoning Salt and Blends
In today’s culinary world, salt and pepper reign as the undisputed kings of flavor enhancement. The numerous variants of sodium chloride and pungent berries are prized among cooks who often adjust and combine different types to meet specific uses. However, store-bought seasoning salts and blends, popular with most home cooks, often get no love. Since many peoples’ cabinets are littered with half full cylinders of them, I think salt and pepper elitism needs to be addressed.
Seasoning salts and blends are great because they will go with just about anything you can think of, quickly enhancing the taste of foods with little effort. The main problem is many of the seasonings lose potency and pungency over time. So that seasoning you bought for that one recipe you made, for that thing, two years ago, may be past its prime. A good rule is if you haven’t used it within the current calendar year, it probably needs to be discarded, but check the expiration date to be sure. My advice is to use seasoning salts and blends often and boldly. Shake a bit on fresh cut veggies, salad, eggs, grits or anywhere you would use salt and pepper or hot sauce. If anyone sticks their nose in the air about your love of seasoning salt and blends, smile at them, shake on more, and enjoy.
Crispy Chicken With Corn Medallions, Seared Bulb Onions, and Fresh Tomatoes
Makes 6 servings
4 pounds skin-on chicken breasts with ribs (about 4 large pieces)
2 tsp. seasoned salt, divided [Choose your favorite seasoning salt or blend]
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 bunch bulb onions, cut in half lengthwise
6 ears corn
1 ½ pounds tomatoes, cut into large pieces
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and basil)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1. Remove tenderloins from breasts and reserve for another use. Remove and discard ribs and any attached bone with a sharp paring knife. [Keep an eye out for the leftover wishbone pieces that may be lodged in the flesh near the top of the breast.] Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap, with skin side facing up, and pound to an even thickness (about ¼ inch) using flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Sprinkle chicken with 1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt, cover and let stand.
2. Remove and discard husks from corn. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Toss corn, onions, 3 Tbsp. olive oil and remaining 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt together in a large bowl.
3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Cook corn pieces in batches, cut sides down, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until slightly charred. Remove and keep warm. Wipe skillet clean. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes until tender and slightly colored. Remove and keep warm. Wipe skillet clean and return to medium heat.
4. Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil over chicken. Cook 2 chicken pieces, skin side down, 8 minutes or until skin is crisp and deep golden brown. Turn and cook 5 minutes or until done. Repeat with remaining chicken. Cut in half crosswise.
5. Toss tomatoes and remaining ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Arrange components on a large serving platter to serve.
This Cherry Cream Pie has a base layer of the Lemon-Vanilla Custard featured in the Summer Entertaining Toolkit.
Cherry Cream Pie
Makes 8 servings
1 prepared pie crust [Use your favorite recipe or pick up a box of store bought pie crust]
1 ½ pound cherries, pitted and halved
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. rum
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp edges. Prick bottom with a fork. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake 10 minutes. Remove parchment and weights, and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Fill pie crust with prepared Lemon-Vanilla Custard. Cover and chill 30 minutes or until custard is set.
3. Meanwhile, toss cherries and remaining ingredients together in a large bowl until coated. Let stand until custard is set. Top custard with cherry mixture.