"Chicken Sybil”
the Multiple Personality Chicken
& Alanna's Signature Chicken Recipe

We all remember the book Sybil, right? I call this recipe "Chicken Sybil" because it's the 'multiple personality' chicken, it can be made so very many different ways, all wonderful. It's so easy to make, the chicken turns out moist and juicy in the center, slightly crispy at the edges. The sauce is so variable, it starts with a creamy-mustard sauce then adds on-hand ingredients. I think you'll love Chicken Sybil, it's the "one way" I make chicken again and again, yet it never turns out the same twice.

Kitchen Parade readers love Chicken Sybil! The recipe was first published in 2007, it's such a favorite, I'm republishing it again in 2014. Enjoy!

Chicken Sybil

"This sounds silly ... but ... [this recipe] changed my life!!" ~ Angela
"Chicken Sybil is pure genius." ~ Roberta
"I loved Chicken Sybil." ~ Colleen
"... absolutely delicious, elegant, and so easy." ~ Barbara
"My husband ... is so excited every time I make it. " ~ Dee
"This is my husband's new fave." ~ Cathy
"... to die for..." ~ Barbara
"... such a nice dinner. Delicious, company worthy sauce." ~ Julie
"It was delicious!" ~ LindaRuthC

(Y-chromosomed readers: Skip straight to the recipe. This first bit requires X chromosomes for full comprehension.) Can a closet breed shoes at a rate challenging gravid guppies?

Think pumps and sling-backs and slides and mules and slip-ons and peep toes and lace-ups and ankle straps and monk straps along with flats, loafers, oxfords, kilties, tassels that sit beside ballerina shoes, Mary Janes and moccasins and high heels, tippy-toe heels, strappy heels, stilettos and kitten heels, dancing shoes, airport-friendly shoes, Saturday-morning errand shoes and clogs and crocks and platforms and wedges and espadrilles and that’s before the racks of thongs and sandals and flip flops, ankle boots, snowboots, dressboots, cowboy boots, steel toes and sneakers, high tops, boat shoes, golf shoes, running shoes, walking shoes, hiking boots and beach shoes. And lest we forget, the comfy house slipper. Whew.

What does it say that we women recognize so many shoe designs, even without owning a pair? Can we list as many authors, composers or poets? What’s so important about shoes that our brains catalog them?

So goes Chicken Sybil, the quick supper with multiple personalities and a variation for every occasion. It may be the most flexible, easy and delicious chicken supper, ever.

ALANNA’S TIPS: Individually frozen chicken breasts are a supper-saver at five o’clock. Just submerse the packages in cold water – yes, cold, it’s counter-intuitive but it works – for 30 minutes. How does chicken safely cook so quickly? It's because the meat is pounded quite thin. Because 'quite thin' is imprecise, the first time you make this, after the specified cooking times, slit into the thickest part of the breast with the tip of a sharp knife and spread a bit. If the center is still pink, cook awhile longer. Chicken Sybil cooks fast so have a salad and vegetable ready before starting.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Multiple-personality chicken
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 20 minutes
Serves 4 (easily adjusts to 1 or 2 servings)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about ¼ pound each
  • Salt & pepper
  • Handful of capers, sliced mushrooms, diced tomato, green onion, frozen peas, cooked bacon or your choice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cream or sour cream or fat-free half ‘n’ half
  • 2 tablespoons good mustard
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate (my favorite) or maple syrup, marmalade, tomato paste, salsa (pictured), barbecue sauce or your choice

CHICKEN Melt the butter in a large skillet on MEDIUM HIGH. (You may need two skillets to cook four servings at once.) Between two sheets of waxed paper, pound the chicken breasts with a rolling pin until about a half-inch thick. Season one side with salt and pepper, transfer to the skillet seasoned-side down (the meat should sizzle), then season the top side. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM, cook for 4 minutes on one side, then 3 – 4 minutes on the other side. Transfer to warm plates and cover with foil.

OPTIONAL VARIATIONS Add variation ingredients (if any) to skillet, stir 1 – 2 minutes until warm.

SAUCE & OPTIONAL SAUCE INGREDIENTS Add sauce and optional sauce ingredients (if any) to hot skillet, stirring to incorporate bits of chicken left in pan. Let thicken slightly. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve and enjoy!

GET CREATIVE! Be creative with the variations. I’ve made this 20 times in a year, never once, twice, just by scrounging in the fridge beforehand. One summer, I taught a class where each of us cooked our own skillets of Chicken Sybil with a variety of ingredients. Favorite Optional Variations and Optional Sauce Ingredients included sun-dried tomatoes, frozen peas, fresh mushrooms, black bean sauce and fresh basil, also garlic and rhubarb jam. What variations have you tried? Leave a comment to inspire others!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 178 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 1g Carb; 0g Fiber; 82mg Cholesterol; 18g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS: WW Old Points 4 & WW PointsPlus 4

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