Friday, September 26, 2008

Herb-braised Chicken Breast

This is heavily adapted from Sara Foster's tarragon chicken recipe. I didn't really realize how licoricey tarragon really was, and I'm not gonna' lie, black licorice is one of the few things around that I'm not really terribly fond of. So, a few quick substitutions, a few alterations, and whammo, here we have what is turning out to be among my favorite dishes to make for a party.

The original recipe called for a whole chicken, cut up, which I agree gives you a very "homey" feeling, but it sure is difficult to eat. I usually use boneless, skinless chicken breasts then cut them in half, because they're just easier to eat.

Herb-braised Chicken Breast

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or other chicken parts)
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with some salt, pepper, and half of the thyme and rosemary. Heat the oil and butter in an oven-proof skillet to med-high heat, and sear the chicken on both sides until brown, about 3 minutes a side.

Pile all the chicken on one side of the pan, then in the drippings and oil, saute the shallots until brown. Then add the apple juice, mustard, and broth, and whisk together. Redistribute the chicken in the pan, spoon the sauce over the chicken, and transfer to the oven.

Cook for about 30-35 minutes, stopping every 10 minutes to spoon more sauce over the chicken pieces. When the chicken is done, remove from the pan, and whisk the cornstarch into the liquid (I usually mix the cornstarch into about a tablespoon of cold water before adding directly to the hot liquids). Whisk a few seconds until the gravy thickens, and then serve with the chicken.

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