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Excerpted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter, 2008). Copyright 2008 by American Public Media. Truth be told, chicken breast is often the most neutral of neutrals. It carries flavors with little contribution of its own. Some of us feel this is an opportunity, not a liability. This recipe addresses the flavor issue head-on: saute the breast fast, and let the pan juices do the heavy lifting. Boiling pan juices down with vinegar and garlic is an infallible flavoring technique. Gild the lily with almonds. Put here for safe keeping.
- 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth (Cheater's Homemade Chicken Broth or canned)
- 2 -4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic if possible
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large garlic cloves, thin sliced
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons whole salted almonds, coarse chopped
- In a 10-inch saute pan (preferably not nonstick), boil down the broth until it is reduced by about two-thirds. Pour it into a container and set it aside. Rinse and dry the pan.
- Lightly film the pan with oil. Heat it over high heat. Slip the chicken breasts into the pan, sprinkling them with salt and pepper. Lightly brown them on both sides.
- Lower the heat to medium low, and cook, uncovered, for 4 minutes per side, or until they are firm but not springy when pressed. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep it warm.
- Make the pan sauce by adding the garlic and vinegar to the pan. Boil, scraping up the brown bits in the pan, until the vinegar is boiled down to 1/4 cup.
- Stir in the reserved broth and boil for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is rich-tasting (it need not be thick).
- Adjust the salt and pepper. Stir in the butter until it's barely melted, and immediately pour the sauce over the chicken, topping it with the almonds.