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Principles of Poaching: The Chicken Comes After the Egg

April 22, 1993|MARCIA CONE and THELMA SNYDER

Chicken sandwiches might come to mind only when you have a whole cooked chicken or prepackaged sliced chicken in the house. We prefer the sandwiches when the chicken is "poached" in the microwave just for that purpose. The poaching takes eight minutes or less, and for children you couldn't have a more popular dinner selection. Add soup or applesauce and carrot sticks and you're all set.

POACHED BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS

2 (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), skinless, boneless chicken breasts, split

1 tablespoon lemon juice, white wine or dry vermouth

Place chicken breasts on wax paper. Flatten with meat mallet to about 1/2-inch thickness. Arrange chicken on 10-inch microwave-safe pie or dinner plate with thicker portions toward outside, leaving center open. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Cover with wax paper. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) until juices run clear when chicken is pierced in center, 6 to 8 minutes, turning over after 4 minutes. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving or slicing. Makes 4 servings.

CHICKEN CLUB SANDWICHES Poached Boneless Chicken Breasts 8 slices bacon 8 slices bread, toasted 1/4 cup mayonnaise 8 thin slices tomato 8 lettuce leaves Potato chips and/or bread-and-butter pickle slices

After cooking chicken breasts, place them in refrigerator and cool slightly while cooking bacon. Place 4 slices bacon on microwave roasting rack or on pie plate lined with paper towel. Cover with paper towel. Microwave on HIGH (100%) 2 1/2 to 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from rack and discard used paper towels. Repeat process with remaining 4 strips bacon.

Cut each chicken breast into 4 thin crosswise slices. Spread 1 side of each piece of toast with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise. Top with sliced chicken, 2 slices bacon, 2 slices tomato and 2 lettuce leaves.

Place remaining toast, with mayonnaise side down, on top of lettuce. Place wood pick 1 inch from each corner of sandwich to secure. Cut sandwich in half, crosswise and lengthwise, to form 4 squares. Serve on large plate with chips.

Note: For lower-cholesterol sandwiches, use reduced- or low-fat mayonnaise and eliminate bacon.

MID-EASTERN CHICKEN PITA POCKETS 4 large pita pockets Poached Boneless Chicken Breasts 1 large tomato, thinly sliced 1/2 head lettuce, shredded 1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced Yogurt Sauce Greek olives, optional

Toast pita pockets and cut each in half crosswise. Cut chicken into thin slices. Evenly divide chicken into pita pockets. Tuck in some tomato, lettuce and onion.

Spoon 1 tablespoon Yogurt Sauce inside each half. Serve remaining sauce on side. Serve with Greek olives. Makes 4 servings.

Yogurt Sauce 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 clove garlic, finely minced 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 cup chopped parsley or mint 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Dash hot pepper sauce

Combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, parsley, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce in small bowl and mix well. Keeps refrigerated 2 to 3 days. Makes 1 cup sauce.

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