Monday, September 15, 2014

Sweet Paprika Skillet Chicken

Want a really quick and easy weeknight dinner?  Here ya go.  Couldn't be easier, especially if you have some of that wonderful Cilantro-Lime Rice (see 9-7-14 post) in the freezer.  A simple, sauteed chicken breast is just about as boring as it comes but a simple fix turns this entree around:  MANGO!!!  A mango slice is the perfect accompaniment to a boring piece of white chicken.  Not only does it impart a lovely, fresh, sweet flavor, but also adds some juiciness, which a chicken breast tends to lack, most especially if it's even the tiniest bit overcooked.

I served this with some whole green beans, but my favorite Go-To Summer Salad (see 5-31-11) post would also be a really nice addition to this super-simple dinner.  Give this dinner 15 minutes and you're ready.  30 minutes and you've probably been busy working the crossword on the side.


2 1/2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 oz each), flattened in between plastic wrap using a mallet (or cut in half {lengthwise} into two thinner cuts if breasts are 8 oz each)
2 Tbsp oil: canola, vegetable, coconut
Cilantro-Lime Rice
Fresh Mango slices
Lime wedges for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, S&P, and garlic powder.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and put the spice mixture onto the chicken breasts, rubbing it into the chicken to create an even coating.

In a large, 12" nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot and rippling.  Add the chicken in a single layer (you may need to do separate batches) and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on how thick the chicken pieces are (the chicken will register 160F on an instant-read thermometer when cooked fully).  The chicken will darken quite a bit due to the brown sugar in the spice rub.  Adjust the heat if you feel the chicken is burning or overcooking, it will be dry if it overcooks so cook it just until cooked through so it stays juicy and tender.

Remove the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, if needed.

Let the chicken rest 5 or so minutes before serving.  Serve with Cilantro-Lime Rice, fresh mangos, and lime wedges.

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