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Chicken Paillards with Avocado-Pomegranate Salsa

POSTED: February 9, 2010 10:00 p.m.

Look for pomegranate molasses at specialty stores. If you can’t find it, boil down some pomegranate juice until it’s glaze-like or substitute a balsamic glaze.
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus marinating time)
Total time: 45 minutes


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 to 6 ounces each)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salsa:
1 large lemon
Seeds from 1/2 medium pomegranate
3 small green onions, thinly sliced
2 medium firm-ripe avocadoes, pitted, peeled and cut into  1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely minced seeded jalapeno
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt


Pound each chicken breast between pieces of plastic wrap until about  1/8-inch thick. Or, if using large chicken breasts, cut them in half horizontally so you have two thin, even pieces. In a shallow bowl, stir in the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Add the chicken, turn to coat well, and cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.


To make the salsa: Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze out 1 tablespoon juice. Place the pomegranate seeds, discarding any pith, into a bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, green onions, avocado, olive oil, parsley, jalapeno, 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses and teaspoon salt. Fold gently with a rubber spatula. Season to taste with additional salt.

To cook the chicken: Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add 2 chicken breasts and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side and cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep it warm. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and 2 chicken breasts. Serve the chicken with the salsa spooned over the top.

Cook’s note: To remove the seeds from a pomegranate, cut  1/4-inch off the top. Score the pomegranate on all sides. Place it in a bowl of water and pull apart. Push the seeds out using your fingers. The white pith floats to the top and the seeds sink. Strain out the seeds.

Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine February/March issue. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Nutrition information: 430 calories (61 percent from fat ), 29 grams fat (4.5 grams saturated fat ), 20 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 310 mg sodium, 65 mg cholesterol, 9 grams fiber.



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