Why You Need To Whale On Chicken Breasts

I’m a terribly impatient person. I’d have to say one of my biggest fears is looking back on my life and realizing that I was never in such a hurry as I think I am.

Here’s an example. How many times have you seen fancy-schmancy instructions for cooking chicken breasts? And then you get to that “even thickness” part. You squint at the one- (or two- !) inch DIFFERENCE between each side and go “Eh, close enough!” And you toss that sucker on the grill.

Woe is me, for I have been that sucker until now.

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Last week sometime (don’t ask me when), I had whisked the potatoes in the oven and set the spouse-unit’s salmon to thaw and actually had time to kill with two innocent but misshapen chicken breasts. (hmm, this sounds naughtier than it actually was.) Wondering what that whole “beating a piece of meat with a mallet” action actually resulted in, I remembered seeing someone do this with a cast iron pan and thought I’d give it a whirl. (If you own cast-iron, you know that feeling of wanting to use it for everything from a Dutch baby to a panini weight.)

As well as being impatient, I’m also terrible at getting tangled in plastic wrap, so I opted for two sheets of wax paper instead. Insert chicken breast, cover with wax paper and whack the hell out of it. Well, aim for the thicker parts to get it more even thickness.

I wish I had a nice picture for you of the grilled result, but the kids were hungry and we ate it too fast. :-) Still, for someone who rushes through things by habit, I’m starting to truly learn the benefits of slowing down, even if only in the kitchen.

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