This is what I made for dinner a few Sunday nights ago, before Thanksgiving I might add. This chicken makes a beautiful presentation and is easy enough for a delightful quick dinner for 2, or a lovely dish for company. It has a rich cream sauce which contains white wine, shallots and lemon.Why does everyone shrink back when you say cream sauce? Each serving doesn’t have that much cream in it, and honestly once in a while never killed anyone, so enjoy and live a little. I served with rice. This is sheer perfection on a plate. Joel requested that I put the “after” picture on this post. I also served with fresh cranberry sauce that I had just made for Thanksgiving. Original inspiration for this dish came from The Barefoot Contessa.
2 split chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.) with skin and bone (I went to the butcher and asked for 2 chicken breasts and had him split them)
3 tablespoons Canola oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 3 small lemons)
1/2 large shallot, minced (original recipe calls for 1 large, but I felt like it was too oniony, so I cut it)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature is very important), diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. I used my Le Creuset cast iron pot, which is oven proof. You can use any oven proof skillet, preferably cast iron. Heat the oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes (just until oil starts to smoke.) Place the chicken breasts skin side down in the skillet and cook for approx. 5 minutes without moving (don’t play with them); you want a golden brown crust to form.
Turn off heat, and using tongs, turn the chicken breasts skin side up, place the skillet in the oven, and roast for 12-15 minutes (check temperature after 12 minutes. It should read 160 degrees,) then cook until the chicken is cooked through. It took me 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots and cook over medium-high heat until sauce reduces (slowly boils down) by at least 1/2 (it may take 8-10 minutes.) If it should reduce too much (it doesn’t happen to me,) add a little more white wine. After it’s properly reduced, add the cream, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and bring to a full boil. Remove from the heat, add the diced butter and stir as the butter dissolves. Never reheat this sauce!!! It could get nasty. There is no need to re-heat anyway, because chicken should be ready, it’s hot and sauce is still hot. Spoon over the chicken and rice and serve!!! Fab! Really delicious. It’s worth the effort, and I must say it wasn’t difficult at all.