Both of these chicken dishes are simple and quick enough for a week night dinner, but elegant enough for company. They definitely taste and present better than they look in these pictures!
CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD AND TARRAGON CREAM SAUCE
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes on either side. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add shallots to same skillet, reduce heat to medium-low. Saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add brandy, simmer until liquid is reduced, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes.
Whisk in broth. Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes. Transfer to platter.
Whisk cream, tarragon, and mustard into same skillet. Increase heat to high, boil until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2003
FOR THE BRINE
1 quart water
2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh sage, leaves only
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
FOR THE BAKE
4 chicken breasts
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sprigs sage, leaves shredded
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 2/3 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup heavy cream
a few pats of butter
Mix brine in a large bowl, add chicken. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 2 to 8 hours.
Remove chicken, let come to room temperature. Drain chicken, discarding brine, and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat oven to 350F.
In a roasting pan, toss the bacon, veggies, garlic and sage with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour in broth, cook 30 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, pour in cream and sprinkle with pepper. Add chicken, dotting pats of butter on each piece. Cook 35 minutes, or until chicken is golden.
Recipe adapted from Relish, January 2011