Sledge Hammer Chicken

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The Cooking Cardiologist Dr. Richard Collins shows us how as new twist to cooking chicken on the grill.

Sledge Hammer Style Grilled Chicken

Served with Asparagus & a ‘Heart-Healthier’

Hollandaise Sauce

Here’s one cooking utensil, you probably never thought was possible. In fact, there are several “cooking” utensils that you will need to buy and use for this recipe.

First, to clarify, this technique does not harm any live chickens. This is a cooking technique that involves using a clean unused sledge hammer, which helps pound out the meat. You can find this tool at your local hardware store. This sledge hammer is a smaller hand-held version. The big sledge hammer is for true destruction, so we’ll leave that for your next kitchen renovation.


Next, you will need a ball of cooking twine, parchment paper and a solid surface to pound the chicken breast to a thin sheet.  And as always, a cast iron skillet will work just as well for this cooking technique.


The asparagus is parboiled to keep the moisture and color in the asparagus.


When grilling the chicken, remember that since we have pounded the chicken, the outside will cook fast on the grill, as the chicken is not thick. Bring it to 1700F. So, it is best to make the Hollandaise sauce first and keep it slightly warm as things happen quickly. The chicken can be prepared ahead of time, up to 6 hours in the refrigerator.

For the sauce:

½ cup egg substitute, I prefer Lucerne® Best of the Egg®

2 T Smart Balance®, Light Butter and Canola Blend (50% less calories than butter and has 100 mg of plant sterols, a cholesterol blocker)

1 t fresh lemon juice

1 t Dijon mustard

Dash of paprika

In a double boiler or two sauce pans, one larger and smaller, heat the water to simmer. Avoid a rolling boil. In the top bowl, add the egg substitute and whisk in the Smart Balance®. When melted, add the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and dash of paprika. Continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat immediately and serve warm.

Serves 4. Serving size:  approximately 2 tablespoons. Total calories 40, fat 2.5 g, carbohydrates 0.5 g, protein 3 g.

For the sledge hammer grilled chicken and asparagus:

4 4-ounce organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, rinsed

1 bundle of fresh asparagus, rinsed and trimmed

2 T olive oil to brush the chicken

Pre-heat grill to medium heat. If not grilling, pre-heat oven to 3500F.

Bring a large pan with water to a rolling boil. Add the asparagus and par-boil for no more than 2 minutes. Remove and plunge into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. On a firm surface, lay down a sheet of parchment paper.

Next lay down (1) chicken breast. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Evenly pound the chicken to ¼ of an inch thickness. Watch your fingers! Do not over pound the chicken or gaps will appear. Remove the top parchment paper. Place three to four asparagus spears in the center of the chicken breast. Using the bottom parchment paper, roll the pounded chicken breast over the asparagus. Using the twine make a running butcher’s tie, approximately 3 to 4 loups to hold the chicken breast together. Brush with olive oil. Place on the grill, rotating frequently. It will not take long to grill the chicken. Less than 15 minutes. Same in the oven, except place the breast on a wire rack over a jelly roll pan.

Serves 4. Serving size: 1 chicken breast with asparagus. Note: does not include sauce. See the nutritional information for the sauce separately.