The Paillard of Sweeney Todd – be afraid… be very afraid!
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Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and in the West End in 1980, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Set in 19th century England, the musical focuses on a barber named Sweeney Todd and his return to London after fifteen years of exile. Todd is seeking revenge from the corrupt judge who banished him, and a solution becomes clear when he conspires with a local baker, Mrs. Lovett, who is in desperate need of fresh meat for her pies.
The Ballad of Sweeney Todd is repeated throughout the show:
Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.
His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
He shaved the faces of gentlemen
Who never thereafter were heard of again.
Famously played by Johnny Depp in the 2007 movie, Mr Todd is not someone that you’d want to upset!
Other than the notable characteristic of sounding almost the same as “ballad”, “paillard” is a method of flattening a piece of meat into an escalope. The benefits are significant – the thickness of the meat is much more even, which means cooking time is easier to judge. And with meats like chicken, you won’t get dry meat because it doesn’t take so long to cook. Not that you’d get dry meat with this recipe, after it’s been drizzled in a blood red roasted cherry tomato sauce…
Place the cherry tomatoes in an oven-proof dish. Mix together olive oil (or Razzle Dazzle homemade basil oil works really well!), balsamic vinegar, garlic paste and dried oregano. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven for about an hour.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook them on a hot grill pan until they are cooked through. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.