When it's too hot to cook or on nights when I just don't feel like cooking anything, I make this chicken. To be honest, I often call it "No-Brainer Chicken" because it's so easy and fast to make. You barely even need any ingredients! The chicken can be stuffed into sandwiches or wraps, sliced over salads, or sometimes I serve it with potatoes and a vegetable. Feel free to play around a little with the flavours here, too. I've swapped out the thyme for freshly chopped rosemary or dill, or revamped it and used used smoked paprika, fresh thyme, and an orange. Fast and easy, it gets from stove to table in about 15 minutes and allows you to make something quick that still has lots of flavour.
Dinner really can be a no-brainer.
3-4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
fresh cracked pepper and salt
a fresh lemon
handful of fresh thyme, leaves stripped off and chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into slivers
First of all, you need to flatten the chicken a little so that it will cook more evenly. It's not important to make it super thin, but you want it all about the same thickness. Chicken breasts usually have a thicker part and a thinner end. Thinner always means it will cook faster. Dry the chicken off with paper towel. You don't want it all juicy and wet.
Cover your cutting board with a layer of either waxed paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap. Lay the chicken on top. Cover the chicken with another layer of waxed paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap. I put a thin plastic cutting board on top of my good, thick wooden board. I don't want raw chicken goop in my good wooden board.
Smack the chicken gently with a rolling pin until it's about the same thickness all over. It should be about 1/2 inch thick or less all over. Don't over do it or you'll have mashed chicken.
Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, parchment, or waxed paper. Sprinkle the chicken with cracked pepper, salt, chopped fresh thyme, and some lemon zest. Use lots if you want! Drizzle with a little olive oil. You can, if you want, get creative here and swap around fresh herbs with spices from your cupboard and a kind of citrus fruit such as orange, lime, or lemon.
Get a frypan good and hot over medium heat, with a little olive oil in it. Put in the chicken, pepper/herb side up. You want it hot enough that the chicken will sizzle, but not so hot that it's smoking. If it's smoking you need to turn down the heat. Fry the chicken up on each side for about 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest.
Toss the garlic cloves into the pan at the end once you've removed the chicken, giving them a good stir and watching carefully, turning down the heat if you need to. Saute them until softened, and then spoon from the pan over the chicken.