Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Diva of Ocean Drive

Last spring, I had to travel to Miami for work. While I was there, we had dinner at The Tides, a swanky hotel on Collins Avenue. It was one of those dinners that I went in completely unsure if I was going to like what I ordered. I had no idea what grilled chicken paillard was, and no clue what spätzle could be. The only thing I did know was that I liked cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, and that buerre nosiette had to be a good thing.

The meal ended up being one of my favorites of all time. So, I decided to try to recreate it. This is officially a new go-to fancy dinner. Though the spätzle took a little practice, it came out doughy and delicious. The chicken was tender and juicy. The spinach and tomatoes added just the right amount of fresh flavor. Though The Tides definitely one-upped me on presentation, I think my dish came out just as good!
Grilled Chicken Paillard with Spätzle (inspired by The Tides)

Grilled Chicken Palliard (inspired by Rachel Ray)
  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 lemon zested and juiced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups chicken stock

Spätzle (inspired by Tyler Florence)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Additional ingredients
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

Place each chicken breast in a small ziplock bag with a tiny bit of warm water. Squeeze the air from the bag and seal. With a mallet or rolling pin, pound chicken until it is about half an inch thick and tenderized.

Arrange chicken on a plate. Drizzle meat with extra-virgin olive oil to just coat the chicken. Combine chopped herbs and lemon zest and sprinkle over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub the chicken and coat evenly with the herbs and seasonings. Set chicken aside and prepare spätzle.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture. Gradually draw in the flour from the sides and combine well; the dough should be smooth and thick.

Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes. While it is resting, bring 1 1/2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer and preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

Using tongs, transfer chicken in a single layer to hot skillet and cook chicken cutlets 3 or 4 minutes on each side.

While chicken is cooking begin making your spätzle. To form the spätzle, hold a large holed colander or slotted spoon over the simmering water and push the dough through the holes with a spatula or spoon. Do this in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spätzle floats to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Dump the spätzle into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water.

Once chicken has been cooked for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, add butter to the pan. When the butter melts, add flour cook, stirring to make a light roux. Stir in chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes.

While your chicken is cooking a little more, preheat another skillet on medium. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and allow to melt. When just melted, turn the heat to low and cook until the butter browns, be careful not to burn. Add your spätzle and toss to coat. Cook the spätzle for 1 to 2 minutes to give the noodles some color.

Add spinach and cherry tomatoes to your chicken and sauce. When your spinach has wilted remove from heat and assemble your plate.

Drizzle a layer of light sauce on your plate, add your chicken, and sprinkle on tomato, spinach, and spätzle. Then, enjoy!


  1. you made spaetzel?! my mom has this great, ancient spaetzel maker from my great grandmother. it's cool to see you don't need one to make the dish!

  2. So, I would assume that with a spätzle maker your, the spätzle comes out pretty and uniform, mine was not super pretty or uniform. But, it did taste pretty good, so it works!

    I used a large holed slotted spoon. Scooped the dough in. Stood over the pot, and used the back of a wooden spoon to push the dough through the holes. It just sort of dripped in and then after a few minutes floated to the top in clumps of squiggly dumplings.

    By the way, I'd love to see what an ancient spätzle maker looks like! You should borrow it from your mom.

  3. This looks awesome! I love spaetzel but never made it at home. Just looking at the pictures is making me hungry!

  4. Spatzle is one of my favorite things.....but I have never even thought to make it myself.... now you have inspired me, I think I will try this exact dinner sometime this weekend