I like recipes that can do several different duties – multitaskers, so to speak. One that can easily become a weekend meal for friends with a little bit of garnish and an extra side or two, or one that can get you from walking in the door to dinner in fewer than 30 to 45 minutes.

Chicken breasts + stove top skillet work = just the ticket.

This chicken requires a little technique, but nothing that is too complex.

Slicing the breasts in thirds actually cuts down the cooking time considerably, so the effort spent pounding means less spent over the pan itself.

When you are organizing your time, the cauliflower is the place to start, as it can be roasting while you are preparing the chicken.

The finishing touch is the pan sauce, full of sunny lemon flavor and easy on the clock.


If there are leftovers from this meal, combining them with some spinach greens, lemon and olive oil the next day for lunch is a tasty and healthy solution.

Smoked Paprika Chicken with Lemon Pan Sauce

2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast: about 3 or 4 depending on thickness

1 cup flour

11/2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon lemon zest, from about 1 lemon


1 teaspoon salt, plus a little extra

Several grinds of fresh black pepper

Up to 1/4 cup canola oil

Pan sauce:

1/4 cup white wine

3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1 lemon


2 tablespoons water

Several pinches of salt

Several grinds of fresh black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Trim the nubbin of fat off the side of each breast. Slice each breast horizontally in either halves or thirds, depending on how thick they are. The slices should be about 1/2 inch thick. With a meat mallet, gently pound the breasts to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Keep the mallet flat to the cutting board. This will help to prevent creating holes in the meat.

It also helps to lay a piece of plastic wrap over the meat before pounding to help keep everything together if your aim is a little errant with the mallet.


Combine the rest of the ingredients except the oil on a large plate. Dredge the pounded breasts in the flour.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Gently place 3 or 4 of the breast pieces in the pan, being sure not to crowd the pieces. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes on one side and then flip and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove to a clean platter when the chicken is just cooked through. Repeat as many times as needed to cook all the chicken.

Pan sauce:

When all the chicken is cooked, leave the pan on the heat and add the wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to half.

Add the lemon juice, water, salt and black pepper and bring to a boil again.


Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Taste and adjust for salt. Serve over the chicken.

Serves 4 to 6

MultiGrain Blend

This grain blend is an interesting and healthy hostess or holiday gift. Combining all of the ingredients is easy, as is adding instructions and a little decoration to the jar.

Grain blend:

4 cups Israeli couscous


1 cup tricolored orzo

1 cup red quinoa

1 cup yellow split lentils

Combine all ingredients and store what you don’t use for this recipe in a glass jar with a lid for use in another meal.

To cook:

21/3 cups chicken broth


1 tablespoon butter

12/3 cup multigrain blend

Bring chicken broth or salted water to a boil. The water should taste as salty as you want the grains to be in the end. Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir in 12/3 cups of the grain blend. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, remove from heat and serve.

Makes 4 cups

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, center removed, sliced into 1/4-inch sections


3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, coat the cauliflower with the olive oil and salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and just beginning to brown on the edges.

Serves 4 to 6

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of “At Home, At Sea.” She can be reached at chefannie@mainewindjammer.com

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