Garlicky Griddled Chicken Breasts – Pechugas a la placha al ajillo

In Mexico, griddled chicken breasts are a very popular main course on menu rotations at “comida corrida”  restaurants (affordable fixed-menu diners), and everybody would agree that it is also a delicious and easy dish to make for a midweek meal at home.  Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are opened or “butterflied” for fast cooking, then grilled on a griddle (plancha, in Spanish); seasonings may be as simple as salt and pepper, with many variations, some with caramelized onions, or hot peppers, or as in this recipe, dressed with a buttery garlic and citrus sauce.

Garlicky Griddled Chicken Breasts –

Pechugas a la placha al ajillo

Printable recipe:  Garlicky Griddled Chicken Breasts

Ingredients (for 2 portions)

2 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic; peeled, and chopped
1 lime; washed, halved, use one half for juice, save the other (see below)
1 orange; washed, halved, use for juice only
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste; freshly ground
To serve:
2 lettuce leaves; washed, dried, and sliced
1 tomato; washed, stem spot removed, and sliced
½ lime (from above); cut into two wedges

To open the chicken breasts, wipe with a paper towel, then, holding one piece on a cutting board with the skin side down, make a horizontal cut about one third from the top, and stop just before separating the slice (photo below, left).  Turn chicken around and open the thicker side in the same manner, to form a “trifold” butterflied breast in one piece (photo below, right):

It is optional to pound the chicken between plastic sheets to an even thickness, but for this recipe, I prefer to leave them like that, so they will not get too dry when cooked.  Repeat with the other piece of chicken breast:

On a griddle, or in a large thick pan, warm up oil over medium heat; add chicken, with the cut side down, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (photo below, left); after three minutes, flip, season again, then press flat gently with a spatula (photo below, right):

After another three minutes, move chicken to one side, then add butter and chopped garlic (photo below, left).  Stir to avoid burning the garlic, and after one minute, add lime and orange juices (photo below, right):

Deglaze the cooking surface, and scrape any bits under the chicken, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cover chicken with a lid (as seen in the photo below, left, I used a lid smaller than the pan, for a closer seal over the chicken).  Allow to simmer for five to eight minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, then uncover (photo below, right):

Let the sauce thicken for a couple of minutes.  Divide chopped lettuce and tomato slices between two dinner plates, and sprinkle lightly with salt; add one wedge of lime, and a piece of chicken on each plate.  Top each breast with half the sauce from the pan, and serve immediately:

As I mentioned, this dish often serves as the main course on fixed menus at restaurants, usually after a soup, and offered with rice or beans on the side; a favoured dessert is Mexican custard.  To serve that way, click on the highlighted text to see my recipes for Mexican Noodle Soup (sopa de fideo), Mexican Style Rice (arroz a la mexicana), Beans from the Pot (frijoles de la olla), and for a grand finale, my Custard with Caramel(flan).

For your convenience, click on the highlighted text below for products available on Amazon™.  DISCLAIMER: Any reviews included in this post are my own, for items I have purchased, not provided by any company; as an Amazon Associates Program affiliate, I might receive a commission for any purchases originated from the links below, at no extra cost to you.  Thank you to readers who have bought other products starting with a click from my links!

I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #637 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #605, with Bev @ Eclectic Red BarnPam @ An Artful MomKatherine @ Katherine’s CornerAmber @ Follow the Yellow Brick HomeTheresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.

I am joining Fiesta Friday #481  with Angie @ Fiesta Friday.

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #416 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

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