Spicy Chicken Tender Stack with Heirloom Tomato Salad


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This is a grown-up version of chicken fingers and a beautiful presentation on the serving dish.

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  • Chicken:
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. chicken breast tenders, boneless and skinless, trimmed of little white coarse connective tissue at broad end
  • Sea salt
  • Salad:
  • 2 medium, ripe yellow heirloom tomatoes, core removed, cut into 4 slices each
  • 2 medium, ripe green heirloom tomatoes, core removed, cut into 4 slices each
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 C. basil- or garlic-flavored extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. snipped fresh chives
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted on grill until the skin is blackened, peeled, cored and cut into fine dice
  • 1/2 C. chiffonade of fresh basil

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Preheat the grill. In shallow pan, pour the plain olive oil. Add coriander, cumin, paprika and half of black pepper. Add chicken, season generously with salt, mixing to thoroughly coat in the spices. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook.

On each of 4 serving plates, alternate 2 slices of yellow tomato and 2 slices of green tomato. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Reserve at room temperature. In small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, basil oil, chives and red bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adjust grill up or away from the heat. Brush grill grate to ensure it is clean. With tightly rolled piece of paper toweling dipped in olive oil, carefully brush grill grates to season. Place chicken tenders on grill, paying particular attention to flame-ups, which would burn the spices, cooking until well seared, but not burnt, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken tenders over and close the grill or cover with oven-proof lid to allow heat to intensify and penetrate. Cook until done, about 2 minutes, depending on thickness of the tenders. Transfer to a clean plate and divide into four equal servings.

To serve: Position two of the chicken tenders, side by side, laying from 6 to 12 o'clock in the center of your heirloom tomato circle. Position the next two chicken tenders, laying perpendicular and atop the first set of tenders. Position the next two chicken tenders like the first set, atop the second set of chicken tenders to form a stack. Repeat with the remaining chicken tenders to complete the plates. Spoon the pepper vinaigrette over the chicken and tomatoes. Sprinkle the chiffonade of basil over the chicken and tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (less than 7 grams carbohydrates)

From: Jimmy Schmidt, The Detroit News

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