lazy chicken breast

I make a version of this whenever I'm lazy but I want comfort food. When I was younger, my parents took me to Outback, where I loved a dish called Alice Springs Chicken. I stopped going to Outback when I got older and discovered non-chain restaurants, but I always had fond memories of that chicken. Once, I went back to find that they'd taken it off the menu.

This summer, I did a 'focus group study' and earned $100 in Amazon money. (Hooray for market research!) I spent it on cast iron pans. One lazy day I covered a chicken breast in kosher flake salt (thanks, Good Eats), pepper, and red pepper flakes and cooked it for 4-6 minutes on each side until it wasn't pink in the middle anymore. It was remarkably good for being so simple.

But of course, I can't leave well enough alone. One day, I craved Alice Springs Chicken. (It is really, truly bizarre how some foods stick with you.) So I made the simple chicken and sauteed some sliced mushrooms in butter and pepper in another pan. I covered the (cooked) chicken with the mushrooms, put a slice of sharp cheddar on top, and stuck the whole thing in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese. I always had the heeby-jeebies about using the microwave on my food, but I couldn't think of a better way to melt the cheese. Now I've learned the way of the broiler. If you use a cast iron pan you can stick the whole thing under the broiler for a minute and you're done!

You'll notice that there are no mushrooms in the picture I posted. Or cheddar cheese. I confess, today I cheated. I wanted the lazy chicken but I had neither mushrooms nor cheddar. So I cooked the chicken, sliced some cherry tomatoes and found some arugula. I put the chicken on top of the tomatoes, the arugula on top of the chicken, and shredded some gouda on top of that.


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