Paprika Chicken

This isn't a new recipe to me, but it is too delicious and simple for a chicken recipe not to share my interstitial cystitis friendly version.  The original recipe, which I have been told is divine, came from The Shiksa in the Kitchen blog.  However, I can't have smoked paprika and never follow anyone's directions word for word, so I made a few slight alterations.  The worst part is cutting the raw chicken in half (my remix of the recipe), but after that it gets much better...especially when you let your 2 1/2 year old assist in it's preparation.  Now before you bring up the obvious objections:  What about salmonella?  Should you really give your child a meat tenderizer?  The answers are:  Eh, don't worry about it (okay, maybe just a little bit) and what child doesn't love playing with a metal hammer (supervised of course).

One of my favorite memories as a child was hanging out with my mom in the kitchen while she made dinner.  As I got older, I started to cook myself.  I credit those times with my mom for how I learned to find my way around a rolling pin and cutting board.  That is a memory that I hope my own daughter has when she gets older.  Today's lesson was on salmonella and washing your hands after handling chicken, but hopefully in a few years it will be over livelier topics.

This paprika chicken is perfect for fajitas or a cold chicken wrap.  Tonight I served it with a garlic black bean, refried bean, cheese mix (I wanted both kinds of beans), paprika garlic IC friendly guacamole, lettuce and cilantro on whole wheat tortillas.  My husband told me at least twice (maybe three times) "Thank you for dinner" or "Dinner was good".  And actually wanted leftovers for lunch tomorrow (which I can't say about last night's dinner).  So, it was a win in my book.

You Know You Want Some
  • 3 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally
  • 3 - 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 - 4 Tablespoons of paprika*
*You will need a meat tenderizer or mallet for this recipe.  Trust me, it is worth the investment.

*Not all paprika is sweet paprika, some is too spicy.  The brands I get are Great Value from Wal-Mart, the Kroger store brand and Tone's Spanish Style Paprika from Sam's (yes we do go through that much paprika in our house).  I cannot use the Aldi brand, my IC does not tolerate it.  

*If you can't tolerate paprika you may want to try using garlic and onion powder or dried cilantro.  If you try any of these let me know how they turn out!  


Mixing Paprika with Olive Oil
1.  Mix your olive oil with paprika in a small bowl.

2.  On a large cookie sheet or pan, add one layer of aluminum foil.  Spray with cooking spray.

3.  Use your largest cutting board (trust me the bigger, the better).  Put one piece of chicken down and cover it with plastic wrap.*

*I saw my sister in law do this and it was genius.  I also find cutting the chicken horizontally helps reduce splatter because you don't have to pound as hard to get the chicken flat!

 4.  Pound (or let your child pound, my 2 1/2 year old did a pretty great job at this) your chicken.  Don't smash it too much or it will be hard to get off of the cutting board. 

I Was Able to Capture This One Mid-whack
5.  Once it is about 1/4 to an 1/8 inch thin, transfer it to the baking sheet.  Repeat.

6.  After all of your chicken has been pulverized to your liking, use a silicone paint brush to generously paint both sides of the chicken with the paprika olive oil mixture.*

*I use a silicone one rather than one with real bristles because it is easier to clean.  I just toss mine in the dishwasher.  You don't have to wait for it to dry to use it again.  It is great for putting butter on breads or sweets before you cook them as well.  I couldn't find mine particular one on-line, but I did find a comparable one here.

7.  Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 20 minutes to an entire 8 hour work day.  This day they were in there for about 2 1/2 hours.

8.  Preheat your oven to broil.

9.  If your oven is like mine, the broiler is on the top, so you have to set your rack in the highest spot possible.  Make sure you do this before you put the chicken in there.  It's always easier that way.

10.  Cook chicken for 7 minutes.  If the chicken is not done, you can flip them and cook them again on the other side for another 5-7 minutes.  The temperature should be 165 degrees.

*I personally cut mine in half because I was using it for tacos and it was kind of thin for a thermometer, but we always use one when cooking any type of meat.  There is nothing worse than dry meat that has been cooked too long (aside from undercooked poultry).  When I cooked them for 7 minutes they were done, but I wanted to get the other side a little browned so I flipped them and cooked them for another 3 minutes.  They were perfecto!


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