Statistics show that Americans ate almost 91 pounds of chicken in 2007. That's each American. That's a lot of poultry! I have to admit that our household probably consumed more than its allotted 90 pounds each, I kid you not. We don't eat a lot of beef because other than ground beef Brad doesn't care for it. I like the occasional steak, but I don't really enjoy the atmosphere of steakhouses so unless Daddy is grilling out for me on the deck I'm not likely to eat my beloved ribeye.
I don't really like to think, however, about how that chicken gets into my fridge or freezer. The stories I heard on the news, and the articles I read on the Internet were enough to get me to consider the effect that raising and slaughtering chickens has had on my body and the environment. It doesn't matter where they come from, hormones scare me. (Including my own, but that's a whole other conversation.) We've been buying organic milk for Cash, and our chicken and beef have all been coming from the farmers market for the last year or so. The price is higher, yes, but I believe the meat is also safer and I feel better about feeding it to my family. So there's a good chance that our chicken consumption has dropped simply because of the pricepoint, but that's okay because we're branching out and eating meatless or meat-lite meals much more often.
This chicken recipe was great for sandwiches. I used much less chicken, and it's definitely a budget-friendly meal. I served it along with fresh bakery rolls and roasted peppers that were fresh-frozen after growing in Daddy's garden. I love to serve sandwiches during the week (with a side of baked fries or a salad.) They're easy on the pocketbook, and they're easy on the cook. And, of course, everybody is happy because they're chicken sandwiches. And we do love our chicken.
Adapted from Everyday Food
1/2 cup apricot jelly
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
one sliced red pepper, seeds and ribs removed
one sliced green pepper, seeds and ribs removed
half a white onion, sliced
1. Turn on broiler.
2. In a small bowl, combine jelly and red-pepper flakes. Set aside.
3. Line baking sheet with foil. Place cutlets on sheet and season with salt and pepper. Broil until chicken begins to turn opaque, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove chicken and brush with glaze. Return pan to oven and broil until glaze thickens and slightly caramelizes, about 5 more minutes. (Be careful not to burn chicken! If you use chicken breasts instead, they should register 165 degrees in thickest part when finished.) Remove chicken from oven and set aside.
5. Re-line sheet with foil. In bowl, toss pepper and onion strips with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Put vegetables on new foil in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until vegetables begin to caramelize but don't burn, which should only take a few minutes.
6. Serve chicken and vegetables on rolls, with mayo if desired.