Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicken Breast with White Wine Reduction and Kale

Having more chicken than I could eat. I invited Andy and Michelle to join us for dinner.  With all of us watching our calorie intake and Andy is very picky eater, I have to be creative with what I make.  I decided to make Boeuf a La Bourguignon on Baked Turmeric Potato instead of a bed of rice or pasta.  The second dish is chicken breast with white wine reduction on a bed of kale.

This is my new favourite way to prepare my chicken: sauté chicken breast with the skin side down and then baked it.  This way the chicken retains all the moisture and has a delicious golden crispy skin.  If you are really watching your calorie like me, take the skin off after the chicken is cooked.  You will need to use a oven save pan for this dish.

Pan sauce is a sauce made in the same pan the main item of the dish was cooked in. In our case, it's the chicken.  The leftover oil, juice, and brown bits are incorporated into the sauce.  The idea behind most pan sauces are pretty similar.  They all start with sweating minced onion or shallots, then sweat the garlic, then stir in the wine and broth, and allowing it to reduce.  Flavours and consistency are implemented after.  In restaurants, the sauce is thickened using butter and heavy cream, which is not acceptable for my home cooking.  I decided to thicken the sauce the Chinese way: corn starch!  I still added a bit of soy milk for that creamy look.

The kale can be steamed or sauté.  It cooks pretty quickly, but don't worry, it is hard to overcook kale.  If you steam it, make sure to drain it well before plating.  For sauté, all you need is oil, garlic, and half cup of white wine (or rice wine or cooking wine).   You can also substitute this for another vegetable you like or omit it completely.


2 chicken breast (skin on)
1 medium shallot (minced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
½ cup dry white wine
1½ cup chicken broth
2 Tbp whole milk (or skim milk, soy milk, half-and-half)
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp fresh parsley leaves (minced)
2 tsp tarragon leaves (minced)
Vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  When the oil are heated and just beginning to smoke, place the chicken breast in with skin side down.  Let it cook until the skin starts to turn golden. Then place the pan into the oven. Do not flip the chicken over. For 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 160F.
3. Once the chicken is ready.  Set aside and let it rest for 5 minutes.
4. Over medium-low heat, put shallot in the same pan and let it sweat for 5 minutes. Do not let it turn golden or brown.  Add garlic and sweat that for 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the wine, scrapping up the browned bits on the pan. Then add the broth, reduce to simmer and cooked until the mixture is reduced to half.
6. In the mean time, combine milk and cornstarch together in a small bowl.  Whisk the mixture into the simmering sauce and continue to simmer until it has thickened.
7. Off the heat, stir in parsley and tarragon.  Season as desired.
8. Gently slice the chicken into strips and spoon the sauce mixture onto your chicken.

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