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Impress your holiday guests with ‘flavor-pounded’ chicken

Bored with chicken? Marco Canora has two ways you can spice up your poultry this holiday season including maple-spiced chicken with spice-roasted winter squash.

Tuscan "flavor-pounded" chicken with pan roasted fennel

Ingredients

    • 2 6-8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 7 large sage leaves, roughly chopped
    • 1 sprig of rosemary, roughly chopped
    • 1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Zest of one lemon
  • Pan roasted fennel

    • 1 large fennel bulb
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 sprig of rosemary
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cut bottom, thin 1/3 off, butterfly the top 2/3 of breast. With tenderizing side of a meat pounder, pound breast until it almost doubles in size. Combine herbs, lemon, and garlic on cutting board and chop together until blended, should yield approximately 2 tablespoons. Put herb mixture into small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Mix until it forms a paste. Spread pounded chicken onto a cutting board. Rub half of herbed mixture onto 1 side of chicken breast, the other half on the other side. Lightly pound mixture into each side; add salt and pepper to taste. Add a tablespoon of oil to a large sauté pan set over high heat. Allow pan and oil to heat for 1 minute or until wisps of smoke begin to form. Add chicken breast to pan, being careful not to crowd. Cook for 60 seconds. Flip chicken and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon.For pan roasted fennel: Cut fennel bulb in eighths through the core, being careful to keep part of core in each wedge. Add extra virgin oil to a 10-inch sauté pan set over high heat. When wisps of smoke come off the pan, add fennel, cut-side face down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lower to medium heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Flip fennel, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 more minutes. Add tines of rosemary to pan, toss, and let sit in pan for 5 minutes with no heat.

Maple-spiced "flavor-pounded" chicken with spice-roasted winter squash

Ingredients

    • 3 6-8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Zest of one lemon
  • Winter squash

    • 1/2 kobacha squash, skin scrubbed, seeds removed and flesh cut into 3 inch pieces
    • 1/2 red curry squash, skin scrubbed, seeds removed and flesh cut into 3 inch-pieces
    • 1/2 butternut squash, skin scrubbed, seeds removed and flesh cut into 3 inch-pieces
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cut bottom, thin 1/3 off, butterfly the top 2/3 of breast. With tenderizing side of a meat pounder, pound breast until it almost doubles in size. Combine spices in a small bowl. Spread pounded chicken onto a cutting board. Rub half of maple syrup onto 1 side of chicken breast, the other half on the other side. Rub half of spice mixture onto 1 side of chicken breast, the other half on the other side. Lightly pound mixture into each side; add salt and pepper to taste. Add a tablespoon of oil to a large sauté pan set over high heat. Allow pan and oil to heat for one minute or until wisps of smoke begin to form. Add chicken breast to pan, being careful not to crowd. Cook for 60 seconds. Flip chicken and cook for an additional 30 seconds.For spice-roasted winter squash: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Put all squashes into a large mixing bowl, and add remaining ingredients. Toss well. Assemble on a baking sheet, skin-side down. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

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