Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
Bright citrus flavors and aromatic herbs make this chicken dish a certain croud pleaser. The double reduction -- once before baking and again after -- give this a wonderful concentration of color and flavor. Serve with a beautiful green vegetable such as spinach, asparagus or green beans. This dish is from the Aeolian Islands just off the shores of Sicily and adapted from a 1993 issue of Eating Well magazine. (Had good success making the sauce and preparing the chicken the night before. Just needed to quickly rewarm the sauce before baking.)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped scallion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seed, ground in a spicemill or mortar and pestle
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2⁄3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 1 -2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- white pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallions, shallots and half of the mint. Saute for 2 or 3 minutes until the shallots and scallions are softened, not browned.
- Stir the fennel, ginger into the sauce pan. Pour in the orange juice, lemon juice and sherry and 1 teaspoon sugar. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a soft simmer and cook uncovered until the sauce is reduced in half -- about 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and butterfly each breast cutting horizontally without separating the pieces. Open each breast and massage in a quarter of the the lemon and orange zests. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Close the chicken breasts and place between sheets of waxed paper. Pound with a mallet so that the breasts are of an even thickness.
- Place rosemary sprigs at the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. Top with the 4 chicken breasts (still closed). Pour wine and cirtus sauce over the chicken and bake for 30 minutes, testing that the chicken is no longer pink.
- Transfer the chicken to serving platter and keep covered so that it will stay warm.
- Pour sauce back into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until reduced by half. Taste and adjust seasonings adding more salt, pepper or sugar as desired.
- Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle remaining tablespoon of mint over chicken.
This is a very complex combination of flavors. I think it does require tasting to season, rather than simply following recipe quantities, because each of the fresh ingredients can vary in flavor. (For me, the recipe quantities gave way too much rosemary and a little too much lemon, with the ginger almost indistinguishable.) The technique of embedding citrus in the chicken worked great; I will use that in other recipes.
This was fabulous and far easier than it looked. I could see doing it the night before bc that was what i planned but it came together so quickly that i had it done for supper tonight
Great chicken recipe toni! Enjoyed it with some broccoli and rice on the side. Added more lemon and orange zest. Will make it again soon!