- 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 5 ounces fresh arugula, tough stems removed, washed and spun dry or baby greens
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Essence or Creole seasoning, recipe follows
- 1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
- Bruschetta, recipe follows
Preheat the grill to high (500 degrees F). Clean the grill while it is heating with a metal wire grill brush and season with a tightly rolled kitchen cloth coated in vegetable or olive oil.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. With the flat side of a meat mallet or the side of a cleaver, working from the center of the meat outwards, gently pound to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Refrigerate, still between the plastic wrap, for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, place the arugula and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pinch of the black pepper. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and divide among 4 large plates. Set aside.
Remove 1 piece of the plastic wrap from each chicken breast. Rub about 3/4 teaspoon of the olive oil mixture on the exposed side and season lightly with Essence. Season each chicken breast on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining salt.
Carefully place the chicken, seasoned side down, on the hot grill and quickly peel away the remaining piece of plastic wrap. With a spoon, dab the remaining olive oil mixture onto the exposed chicken and rub evenly over the meat. Cook until the chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending upon the size.
To serve, place 1 chicken breast in the center of each arugula salad and drizzle each lightly with additional extra-virgin olive oil and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the grated Parmesan on top of each serving, and serve immediately with 2 bruschetta on the side of each plate.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
Published by William and Morrow, 1993.
8 (1/2-inch thick) diagonal slices Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large whole cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of the bread with oil.
Place the bread slices on the grill and cook until marked and lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and rub 1 side of the bread with the crushed garlic.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Yield: 8 slices