Today, dear readers, I am giving you a double whammie of a post. Two recipes for the price of one. They’re great together, but they also stand on their own as separate dishes. The forbidden rice succotash is vegan and gluten free, and the buttermilk-marinated chicken cutlets are . . . anything but. It simply can’t be helped that they pair so well — a forkful of chicken and succotash makes for a seriously tasty bite.
I feel like I can’t stop talking about how much my family enjoys my recipes, in particular my dad. You see, I’m always nonplussed when he enjoys my vegetarian cooking so much — an intrepid culinaire in his own right, my dad is no slouch in the kitchen. However, he definitely favors meat and pasta dishes when it comes to his own kitchen adventures. While I know that my dad likes a.) chicken and b.) things that are breaded and pan-fried (okay, who doesn’t), the succotash was a big question mark. Imagine my surprise and delight when I came home to find most of the succotash gone, along with a note. “I hope you were not saving the black rice/corn/zucchini salad for someone else,” it read, “It is so good that I could eat the entire bowl of it.”
If my dad liked this healthy rice dish so much, it’s gotta be a winner. Seasoned with a spoonful of Herbes Provençal and a touch of kosher salt, summer vegetables are gently sauteed, then tossed with cooked rice. You can use any grain in this recipe, but I chose Forbidden Rice for its nutty flavor and dark purple hue — it makes for a gorgeous color contrast with the corn and zucchini.
As for the chicken, it is made tender by some judicious flattening with a cast-iron pan (or a meat mallet if you have one), followed by a quick bath in seasoned buttermilk. Aleppo pepper adds tangy spice, and cornmeal and wheat flour give the crust a hearty crunch.
Forbidden Rice Succotash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Anaheim peppers, diced
1 tsp. Herbes Provençal
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 small zucchini, diced
kernels from 2 ears of white corn
2 C. cooked Forbidden Rice
diced grape tomatoes and parsley chiffonade, for garnish
1. In a large (12″) nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium flame.
2. Add the onion, peppers, Herbes Provençal, and salt to the skillet. Saute until the onions are softened.
4. Add the zucchini and corn to the skillet. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini is cooked through but still opaque in color.
5. Add the cooked rice to the skillet. Stir to combine evenly and heat through.
6. Serve and garnish with tomatoes and parsley.
Buttermilk Chicken Cutlets
2 large (8oz each) chicken breasts, skin and bones removed
1/2 C. lowfat buttermilk
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. yellow cornmeal
1/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 C. olive oil
1. Lay the chicken breasts flat on a piece of plastic wrap, and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Using a cast-iron skillet or meat tenderizer mallet, pound the chicken to an even thickness of about a 1/2-inch. Cut each chicken breast in half, for four servings.
2. Combine the buttermilk, garlic, aleppo pepper and black pepper in a shallow dish. Add the chicken to this mixture, and let marinate for 30 minutes.
3. In another shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and peppers. Dredge the pieces of chicken in the flour mixture, pat off the excess, and set aside in a single layer.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large (12″) non-stick skillet over a medium flame. When the oil is heated (a sprinkle of water should sputter), add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until crisp and fully cooked. Remove to a cooling rack if not serving immediately.