What are chicken medallions?
Chicken medallions are tender, flatter cuts of chicken breast that have been pounded thin. They are usually about 2-3 ounces each and 1/2 inch thick. Chicken medallions cook quickly, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Their thin shape allows them to cook through evenly and absorb flavors from sauces or marinades.
Where does the name “chicken medallions” come from?
The name “chicken medallions” comes from their round, flat shape which resembles a medallion or coin. When pounded thin under a meat mallet or rolling pin, the chicken breast takes on a broad, flat profile similar to a medallion. The term is mostly used in North America and is less common in other English-speaking countries. Chicken paillard or scaloppine are other names used to describe thinly sliced chicken breasts.
How are chicken medallions prepared?
Chicken medallions are made by slicing a chicken breast horizontally to make two thin cutlets. The chicken cutlets are then gently pounded to a 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet, tenderizer, or rolling pin. Pounding helps tenderize the chicken and ensures even cooking. The thin medallions can then be seasoned, breaded or marinated, and quickly pan-fried or grilled until cooked through.
Why pound chicken breasts into medallions?
Pounding chicken breasts has several advantages:
- Creates an even thickness so chicken cooks evenly
- Tenderizes the chicken for a more tender bite
- Allows seasonings and marinades to deeply penetrate
- Exposes more surface area for crisping up the exterior
- Cooks quickly, ideal for weeknight meals
- Easy to portion into individual servings
What are some common ways to cook chicken medallions?
Chicken medallions are extremely versatile and can be prepared many different ways:
- Pan-seared – Cooked quickly in a hot skillet to create a crispy exterior.
- Grilled – Placed directly on a hot grill for flavorful charred medallions.
- Breaded – Coated with breadcrumbs or panko before frying for a crispy crust.
- Sautéed – Cooked gently on the stovetop with aromatics like garlic and herbs.
- Baked – Arranged in a baking dish and roasted in the oven.
- Simmered – Added to soups, curries, stews, or braises.
What are some popular ways to use chicken medallions in recipes?
Chicken medallions are extremely versatile in recipes. Here are some delicious ways to use chicken medallions:
- Chicken piccata – Medallions sautéed with lemon, butter, and capers.
- Chicken marsala – Medallions braised with marsala wine and mushrooms.
- Chicken parmesan – Breaded medallions topped with tomato sauce and cheese.
- Thai chicken curry – Simmered in coconut curry with vegetables.
- Fajitas – Strips of chicken sautéed with bell peppers and onions.
- Chicken salad – Chopped medallions mixed with mayo and veggies.
- Stir fries – Quickly cooked with stir fry vegetables and sauce.
- Sandwiches – Served on bread or rolls with lettuce, tomato, and condiments.
What are some flavor ideas for seasoning chicken medallions?
Chicken medallions absorb flavors beautifully. Consider rubbing or marinating them in:
- Herbs – rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, cilantro
- Spices – cumin, chili powder, paprika, curry powder
- Citrus – lemon, lime, orange
- Soy sauce, teriyaki, sesame oil
- Garlic, ginger, onions, shallots
- Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar
- Vinegars – balsamic, red wine, rice wine
- Olive oil, sesame oil, avocado oil
Get creative mixing and matching wet and dry seasonings to suit any cuisine!
How to know when chicken medallions are done cooking?
Chicken medallions cook quickly, usually 3-6 minutes per side depending on thickness. Check for doneness by:
- Cutting into a medallion, meat should be white inside with no pink.
- Juices run clear when poked with a fork, not pink or red.
- Internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Exterior is browned and crispy looking.
Do not overcook chicken medallions or they can become tough and dry. Remove immediately once they are fully cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
How long do fresh chicken medallions last in the fridge or freezer?
- Fridge: Store fresh chicken medallions for 3-5 days.
- Freezer: Freeze raw chicken medallions up to 9 months.
- Cooked: Store cooked medallions 3-4 days in fridge.
To maximize freshness, freeze raw chicken medallions if not using within a few days. Defrost overnight in fridge before cooking.
Nutrition Information of Chicken Medallions
Chicken medallions are a lean, protein-packed choice. A 3 ounce serving provides:
- Calories: 140
- Protein: 26g
- Fat: 3g
- Carbs: 0g
- Sodium: 70mg
Chicken medallions make a nutritious addition to any meal. Pair them with vegetables and whole grains to round out the nutrition.
Chicken medallions are a versatile and easy way to enjoy quick, healthy chicken dishes any night of the week. Their thin, tender preparation allows for even cooking and better flavor absorption. Simply pound chicken breasts into 1/2 inch medallions, season or marinate as desired, then sauté, grill, or bake until cooked through. Chicken medallions can be incorporated into a wide variety of global cuisine recipes from fajitas to curries. Their mild flavor also makes them perfect for soaking up bold sauces or spice rubs. Keep a batch of raw chicken medallions in the freezer so flavorful chicken dinners are never more than a few minutes away.