This meal is extra special, not just because it is delicious and incredibly easy. It's extra special because it was made by the lady herself, my culinary heroine, my favorite celebrity chef, the woman I admire and aspire to eat like and cook like - the one and only Ellie Krieger.
For my birthday, my sister got us tickets to go see Ellie Krieger do a culinary demonstration and book signing at a local cooking school in the LA area. Right before our eyes, Ellie made breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. And we got to sample all of it. She was so utterly charming and likeable, funny and charismatic - the superlatives know no bounds, folks. It's so nice to admire someone on television and in books, and then to meet her in person and realize she's just as awesome as you imagined she would be.
And her food was delicious too. Here I am featuring the lunch recipe she made, though of course it would do just fine for dinner. It's fresh and tasty, and remarkably easy to pull together. It also looks elegant and beautiful, much like Ms. Krieger herself.
So here is the recipe for you to make yourself. Now I will go bask in the afterglow of having met one of my favorite people.
Chicken Paillard with Watercress & Tomato Salad
from Ellie Krieger's So Easy
That's Ellie making me lunch. Okay, so it wasn't just me.
1 1/4 pounds thin cut skinless boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large bunch watercress, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
8 slices whole-grain baguette
1. Combine chicken, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat. Preheat a grill or nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill chicken until grill marks form and meat is just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
2. In a large bowl, toss watercress and tomatoes, with their seeds, with remaining olive oil and lemon juice, and remaining salt and pepper. Distribute chicken among 4 serving plates and top each with 1 1/2 cups of salad and 1 to 2 tablespoons of accumulated liquid from the salad. Serve with baguette slices.