I promised chicken, so here it is. Very different from a traditional Chicken in Walnut Sauce (Katmis Satsivi), but similar in that the chicken and the satsivi sauce are made separately and then combined and cooked together. Yesterday I made satsivi (please see that post). It is sitting there waiting for the chicken. I am planning to fool it in two ways: first, I am reserving some of it for my grilled zucchini (yummy!); secondly, rather than frying a whole chicken, with skin on, and mixing delicate and healthy satsivi with loads of grease, I bake skinless chicken breast. Sorry, no grease!
But seriously, satsivi is a sauce that complements everything, from eggplant to fish, so I’ve decided long ago that skinless greaseless chicken breast will merge with it in a happy healthy union. The added benefit of it is that this chicken is delicious on its own, and I can pack it cold with a green salad for my husband’s lunch.
It’s your basic shake and bake, but by using corn meal, I make it gluten free. Corn meal is seasoned only with salt and pepper, nothing fancy. Rosemary adds more aroma than flavor, and paprika comes at the very end.
So take a large plastic bag, pour corn meal into it, add salt and pepper, and shake to blend it. You need to preheat the oven, mist a deep baking pan with oil, and peel skin off those chicken breasts.
Next, chicken cubes need to be cut. Well, they are not exactly cubes, but each good size breast will yield four pieces of about the same size. Throw them straight into the bag and keep cutting the next one, until all of them end up in the bag.
Shake, shake, shake! Make sure all chicken pieces are well coated. Since there is no skin, and we are not using eggs or any other binding agents, you have to really exercise your muscles to make that corn meal stick.
Arrange chicken pieces in the oiled baking pan. If there is any leftover corn meal, sprinkle it evenly on top. Place rosemary sprigs on top in any pattern you like.
Mist chicken pieces with oil, cover tightly, and put in the oven. Set your timer for one hour and go do something else. I am sure you have something to do! In one hour, when your timer beeps at you, get the pan out, uncover it, grab that paprika, sprinkle it all over, and bake it uncovered for ten more minutes.
Here you have it, appealing to your senses in every way and eminently edible just as it is, tender and juicy. But you have prepared satsivi, and you have your heart set on making Katmis Satsivi. No problem.
Take satsivi out of the fridge, pick up rosemary and put it on the side, and just pour satsivi sauce over chicken pieces. If your satsivi has thickened, the way mine did, add some water with wine (half and half), until all chicken is submerged. Bake uncovered until most of the liquid evaporates and sprinkle some rosemary leaves on top when you are ready to serve.
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup finely ground corn meal
- 4 – 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Alternative: wine and water per need to dilute satsivi sauce.
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly mist deep baking pan with oil.
- In a large plastic bag, combine corn meal with salt and pepper, blend well.
- Cut each chicken breast into four pieces, place in bag with corn meal, close bag and shake vigorously.
- Place chicken pieces into baking pan, sprinkle leftover corn meal on top. Arrange rosemary sprigs in attractive pattern.
- Mist chicken with oil, cover tightly, bake for 1 hour.
- Uncover, sprinkle with paprika, bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
To make Chicken in Walnut Sauce, prepare satsivi sauce ahead of time. Remove and reserve rosemary. Pour sauce over chicken, add wine and water in 50/50 proportion, if necessary, until chicken pieces are covered with sauce. Bake uncovered until most of the liquid evaporates. Garnish with rosemary leaves before serving.