Faith Middleton's Food Schmooze: Faith's BLT Chicken with Grilled Buttered Cornbread
Faith's BLT Chicken with Grilled Buttered Cornbread
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 strips crispy bacon
Cornbread for 4, homemade or store-bought
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of diced scallions or 1 red onion, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, stems and all
1-2 diced avocados
Lettuce for 4
1 stick softened butter
Any other salad ingredients you like
Celebrate the end of summer with one of your last meals from the grill. This one's fresh and memorable, so savor every bite. I came up with what I call BLT Chicken by making a salad and adding flavors I love together -- chicken, fresh corn, tomatoes and, I thought, why not? Let's butter and grill the cornbread. It has a little crispy edge that makes me swoon, caramelized and buttery on the tongue.
Listen, you're free to make the cornbread on a weekend, when there's time to do it from scratch, but feel free to use the supermarket as your prep chef. That's what my pal Jacques Pepin does; he buys supermarket stuff pre-chopped to save time. So you can buy the cornbread made, use a packaged mix, or use that time-honored family recipe. In fact, you can do so much of this on a Sunday night for Monday supper, including wash the greens, dice the scallions, make the dressing, make the corn and slice off the kernels, and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
1. Make a salad of your favorite lettuce and ingredients. I add a full bunch of chopped fresh cilantro, fresh corn kernels, diced avocado, cherry tomatoes cut in half, and diced scallions. Toss salad with a vinaigrette. I mix together Ariston Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Greece, balsalmic vinegar, and the juice of a whole lime or two. A little salt and freshly ground pepper. Taste it and see. Set the bowl aside.
1. Grill the chicken breasts and four slices of bacon, cooking bacon until it is crisp. Set the bacon aside to cool. When the breasts have been cooked on both sides, remove.
Homemade or Store-Bought
1. Slice the cornbread in half horizontally so that it is about a half-inch thick.
2. Lightly butter both sides of each slice.
3. Grill one side of the slices, moving them a little so they have nice grill marks and are deep golden and a little crispy. Flip the pieces and grill the reverse side similarly.
4. Serve two pieces per person alongside BLT Chicken.
Place the chicken breast on a plate, top with dressed salad greens and crumble a sliced of bacon on top. Put two slices of grilled cornbread on the side, or bring them out on a platter, and let guests help themselves. Seriously, I'd make double the cornbread. It's freaky delicious.
FAITH'S LAST SUMMER GIN & TONIC
Rose's Lime Juice
1 bottle of tonic water
1 bottle of gin or vodka
In tall glasses mix 1 part gin (or vodka), and three parts tonic. (My favorite is Fever Tree brand.) Add ½ ounce Rose's Lime Juice. Stir lightly. Serve on the rocks with a slice of fresh lime. (Feel free to cut back or increase the Rose's Lime Juice to taste. I love the way it softens the quinine.)
Best Chocolate Cookies in a package
Mary's Marvelous, East Hampton
Best Chocolate Sorbet With Toasted Walnuts
$10 - $13
Distributed by Frederick Wildman & Sons