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Video: Delicious chicken to impress your guests

  1. Closed captioning of: Delicious chicken to impress your guests

    >>> this morning in "today's holiday kitchen" we're take the boring out of chicken by doing a little flavor pounding. marco kenora, chef and owner in new york is making dishes that leave your guests wanting more. good morning.

    >> good morning.

    >> we're going to pound the chicken. not about beating it out.

    >> despite what al says.

    >> before we do the pounding we have to butterfly it.

    >> the boneless skinless chicken breast doesn't get a whole lot. i'm going to show you a way to really bring out the flavor of it and add flavor to it. people say it's dry and flavorless and you know, gets a lot of slack.

    >> i notice you cut off the bottom third. why did you do that in.

    >> you cut off the bottom third, thin enough and the top part that's thick we'll cut it and butterfly it through the horizon of it and not go all the way through, notice that.

    >> that's the butterfly.

    >> exactly, then it goes flat. you initially do a pounding with the tines and not too hard because you could really beat it up.

    >> what if you don't have a tenderizer?

    >> use the bottom of a pot or glass.

    >> i read could you also use an empty wine bottle which the image made me laugh.

    >> you could do that. then flip it.

    >> got it. not too hard but trying to expand its size?

    >> it will get wider. create more surface area to take on the flavor . then we're going to treat it with this is what i call the tuscan flavor so sage, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest .

    >> this is a paste we're going to create.

    >> exactly but it's important that you get all your ingredients, put them on the board and you chop them together so they all kind of infuse into each other.

    >> got it.

    >> that's an important step.

    >> then you add in a little oil.

    >> a little oil to make a paste.

    >> stir it up and then pound this back in.

    >> right, so now i'm going to rub this on here.

    >> more pounding, great. watch those fingers.

    >> so pound that in there.

    >> are we trying to expand the size still?

    >> you can give it some of your aggression out if you want.

    >> apparently i have a lot. do the other side too?

    >> sure.

    >> because i'm still feeling aggressive.

    >> then a little bit of salt, always salt and pepper .

    >> you can cook this pretty fast, two minutes?

    >> we're going to show new real time that this thing is 60 seconds on one side.

    >> let's do it. you need a really hot pan?

    >> really hot pan because it's thin so it's going to cook quickly and you want to create color.

    >> we have two minutes so let her rip. all right. and now while that's happening you'll show us a different recipe.

    >> what is great about the technique is the versatility of it. i'm going to do one with maple syrup and cinnamon ginger and nutmeg. you can go anywhere, you can think about the japanese pantry and do seaweed powder, soy sauce and ginger or indian with tumeric and curry so it's really versatile.

    >> a little maple syrup .

    >> a little and not a lot because this is savory food so we don't want it too sweet, just a tiny brush of it.

    >> what spices in there?

    >> ground nutmeg, ground ginger and ground cinnamon.

    >> okay.

    >> be very, very careful with these, they're very strong.

    >> are you going to pound this flavor in, too?

    >> absolutely. these tines embed the flavor into the breast.

    >> should i flip this guy over yet?

    >> no, let it go. you know what? how about i got to turn it up a little bit.

    >> all right.

    >> so let's get some of these.

    >> you made side dishes .

    >> with the tuscan one, pan roasted fennel. i think fennel is one of those unsung heroes , it doesn't really get as much attention or love as it should. so that's just simply roasted in the pan.

    >> all right.

    >> with rosemary and lemon.

    >> now should i flip it over?

    >> sure, let's flip it.

    >> we're running out of time .

    >> look really good.

    >> really good.

    >> look at you.

    >> i'm cooking, everyone.

    >> yea!

    >> al, do you want to get some --

    >> whose side are you on, marco? and the key is for a really hot pan.

    >> very hot pan, super fast cooking, so incredibly versatile. and super tasty because you have all of the surface area .

    >> marco, thank you so much.

    >> thank you.

    >> appreciate it.

    >>> coming up, hoda and kathie lee go inside the minds

TODAY recipes
updated 11/29/2011 3:24:53 PM ET 2011-11-29T20:24:53

Recipe: 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

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.

Recipe: 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

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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