Updated: Aug 15, 2019
This dish will blow your socks off! I promise.
Not only is the chicken juicy and full of flavor, but the combination of the creamy cauliflower mash with the crispy texture of the chicken is mouthwatering. I can never finish a full chicken breast, but I definitely cleaned my plate with this dish.
To get started, I highly recommend when you wake up in the morning to season the meat. it doesn't matter what you are cooking for dinner, it could be steaks, pork chops, chuck roast, short ribs, it doesn't matter, you MUST start seasoning the meat as soon as you can. As soon as I incorporated this into my routine, I can honestly say that the complex flavors of the meat changed the way I cook. Samin Nosrat has ingrained this in my mind. After reading Salt, Fat, Acid Heat, I feel like a chef! Seriously guys, please season your protein as early as you can.
So I suggest coating the chicken with salt and wrapping it in foil, place it in the fridge and allow the salt to really settle into the chicken. When you are ready to cook dinner, pull the chicken out of the fridge and reseason with salt. Be sure to get all sides.
Next, turn the oven to 350 degrees and prep your veggies. Wash the cauliflower and kale. Then place the cauliflower in a medium pot over medium heat. Add salt to the water, this helps build those flavors by allowing the cauliflower to soak up the salty water. Rip the kale off the stem and allow all the water to run off. I always line the bottom of a large bowl with paper towels and place the kale in as I rip it from the stem.
Once the kale is dried, remove paper towels and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss the kale to ensure an even coat. Spread kale evenly on a baking sheet. I always line my baking sheet with foil, it just helps the clean up process. Set kale aside.
Place a cast iron skillet on low heat, allowing the pan to gradually heat.
Now we can get our chicken station set up. In a bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of flour, 2 tablespoons of corn meal, shavings of 1 lemon rind and a pinch of salt. Mix this up and set aside.
At this point, I would suggest putting your skillet on medium high heat to get it really hot and ready to give your chicken that beautiful crispy exterior.
In another bowl, whip two eggs until yolks are broken down. Now lightly press the flour into the chicken breasts. Be sure to coat all sides. When coated, dip into egg and allow excess to run off, then dip into flour, pressing flour lightly into the breast. Set aside and repeat the process with the other breast.
When breasts are coated in egg and flour mixture, heavily coat the skillet with olive oil. (Like a lot of olive oil) Place breasts in skillet and cover, so the oil does not splash on you. Set timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Flip and set the timer again. When done, place kale chips and chicken in the oven @ 350 degrees. Set timer for 10-15 minutes.
Keep an eye on the kale chips, do not want to burn them. They might need to come out before the chicken.
While chicken and kale are in the oven, drain the cauliflower and place into a blender with 1-2 tablespoons of butter and a heavy drizzle of olive oil. Blend until completely smooth.
Remove chicken and kale from oven and plate your dish.
I scooped mash on to the center, with a side of kale chips, then place the chicken on top of the mash. I topped it off with fresh chives and rosemary from my garden.