Since I’m making this tonight, I unearthed the recipe from the May 1984 issue of Bon Appetit, and I decided to share it here in the process. I’ve made this a lot over the years … it’s incredibly easy and absolutely delicious. Tonight, I’m serving it with a couscous and black bean salad that I’ve never made before. If it’s good, watch for that recipe to show up here too! ;~)
4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
3 Tbsp. chili powder, divided
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Pound each breast half between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to uniform thickness of 1/8 inch*. Arrange on baking sheet. Blend 1 Tbsp. of the chili powder with the oil. Brush each breast with some of the mixture. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.
Blend remaining chili powder with softened butter. Set aside.
Prepare charcoal grill or preheat broiler. Season breasts with salt. Cook just until meat turns white, about 45 seconds. Turn and cook second side quickly. Do not overcook. Transfer to heated plates. Place 1 Tbsp. chili butter on each breast. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
Nowadays, supermarkets carry boneless breasts that are pre-sliced to about this thickness. That can save you some time in preparation, although I’m not convinced that they would be as tender as the pounded breasts.
Food fact du jour: Pounded chicken breasts are also known as “paillards.”