Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chicken Scaloppini Sandwiches with Avocado Cream

I’m calling these “scaloppini” sandwiches simply because the chicken breast is pounded very thinly—to one-eighth of an inch. Typically, when I make veal or pork scaloppini, I dust the meat with flour before frying or sautéing it, but for these sandwiches, a quick sear in a little olive oil is all the chicken breast needs to complement the baby Swiss and creamy avocado spread. (No, I’m not calling it "guacamole." Real guacamole would never include sour cream.)

For the chicken pieces, purchase a boneless, skinless breast and cut it into eight thin, 3X2-inch pieces. Place each piece in a sturdy plastic bag and use a meat mallet (smooth side) or a small, heavy skillet to gently pound the chicken into very thin pieces (they'll vary in shape). Since the pieces are so thin, use two for each sandwich, stacking them with gooey cheese melted in between.

Chicken Pounded Very Thin
I used European rye bread for the sandwiches in this recipe because I wanted something flavorful with good texture but not very thick and crusty. If you can’t find European rye, try pumpernickel or lightly toasted Italian.

Serves 4

  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 1 avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided,
  • 8 1/8-inch-thick pieces of chicken breast, about 4 inches in diameter
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin slices baby Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices European rye bread
  • lettuce leaves, tomato slices, and dill pickle slices, for serving
  1. Place the garlic and salt in a bowl and mash together to form a pulp.
  2. Scoop the flesh from the avocado into the bowl and add the sour cream and lemon juice. Stir well until smooth and creamy.
Garlic Paste
Avocado Cream
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Season 4 of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sear until golden and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Chicken after Turning
  1. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and sear the remaining 4 pieces of chicken. When the second side is nearly done, lay 1 slice of cheese on top of each. Return the first 4 pieces of chicken to the skillet and top the other 4 with the cheese in between.
  2. Carefully turn the stacked pieces over to heat throughout and completely melt the cheese.
Cheese Added
Stacked Chicken with Cheese
  1. Lay the bread slices on a work surface and spread the avocado cream on 4 slices. Lay a double-chicken stack on top of the spread and top the chicken with lettuce, tomato, and pickles. 
Avocado Layer
Chicken Layer
Close the sandwiches, cut diagonally in half, and serve.

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