Pan Grilled Chicken Breasts With Orange Onion Shards

An example of deglazing with possibilities limited only by our imaginations and mood. Lightly browning orange zest along with chicken and onion slices lends an intriguing lilt to the dish. Use it as a starting point for experimentation -- stir a few teaspoons of minced fresh ginger into the pan with the zest, or saute shallots and fresh sage before adding the wine. In autumn, cider could stand in for the wine, with a little dark mustard finishing the sauce.

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 boned and skinned chicken breasts (totally about 1-1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut vertically into 8 narrow wedges salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, or 8 large fresh sage leaves, and 6 Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2/ to 1 cup chicken stock (homemade, or good quality canned)

Make a sheer film of oil in bottom of a 12-inch saute pan (not non-stick) and heat over medium high. Add chicken in a single layer and scatter with onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook about 30 seconds per side to sear. Turn heat to medium low. Using a zester, shred the colored rind (zest) of the orange over the pan. Cook chicken 4 minutes per side, or until firm when pressed with a finger. Turn onion pieces with chicken.

Remove to a serving platter and keep warm. Pour away all but a tablespoon or so of fat from pan. Set over medium high. Add any desired flavorings, sauteeing for just a minute or so. Add wine. Using a wooden spatula, simmer wine as you scrape up the brown glaze in the pan. When wine is all but gone, add stock and simmer, stirring until deeply flavored. Taste for seasoning.

Depending upon the intensity of your glaze, you might want a little more stock. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

Copyright 1996 Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Main DishesPoultry
Serves 4

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