Poached Chicken In Citrus Ginger Butter Sauce
Contributor Lisa Fielding is a private chef and boutique caterer based in Manhattan who weekends in Litchfield County whenever possible. Many of her Manhattan clients are also Litchfield County weekenders, so work brings her to Northwest Connecticut as well. A Los Angeles transplant, Fielding was a former Hollywood film executive who segued into screenwriting several years ago, which enabled her to pursue her passion for food and entertaining. Lisa’s culinary skill set draws from a broad spectrum of dishes and ingredients.
Spring is just around the corner despite the late blizzard that just landed on our doorstep. So even if this mercurial change of temperatures has you yearning for comfort food, put this lighter and incredibly delicious dish on your forecast for when the roads are safe again and you can make it to the market for some key ingredients. This is a poached chicken dish plated on a bed of crunchy, colorful wild rice (recipe included here) with an orangey, garlicky, gingery butter sauce akin to a beurre monte. The combination of subtle and dynamic flavors spells SPRING in capital letters. So once winter is truly behind us, celebrate with this beautiful meal. It’s a wonderful welcome to warmer climes ahead.
(Poached Chicken in Citrus Ginger Butter Sauce)
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 7 oz. each)
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1½ sticks salted butter room temperature
1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a saucepan. Over medium heat, cook sauce until it bubbles and thickens, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Nestle chicken breasts in a casserole. Pour 3/4 cup of the liquid over the chicken breasts and allow to marinate for an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Massage butter into remaining liquid. Stir until well incorporated. The mixture should be fluffy. Dot chicken breasts with half of the butter mixture. Poach in the oven for 20-25 minutes until done.
4. Remove chicken from the casserole and pour all of the liquid into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for another 20 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat. Pass sauce through a fine sieve. Return the sauce to the saucepan and with the heat on a low use a whisk to incorporate the remaining butter mixture one tablespoon at a time. This is the process of “mounting the butter” into the sauce and allowing it to emulsify. Adjust seasoning. To plate, thickly slice the chicken breast on the diagonal, place on a bed of wild rice (recipe below) and pour a generous amount of sauce. Sprinkle with snipped chives.
Herby Wild Rice with Radishes, Almonds & Ricotta Salata
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups wild rice
3/4 cup sliced mixed radishes
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata
½ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup minced fresh dill
¼ cup minced fresh mint
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
1. In a large saucepan (I like it wider than deeper when making wild rice as it cooks quickly and evenly), bring stock, salt and pepper to a boil. Add rice all at once, return to a simmer, cover and reduce heat. Check after 20 minutes to make sure all stock has not evaporated. Rice should be ready after 25 minutes of cooking time. Remove from heat, uncover and allow to cool.
2. Once the rice has cooled to a degree, fluff with fork and gently add radishes, almonds and herbs. As a final step, turn in ricotta salata. Rice is colorful, crunchy and ready for plating with poached chicken. Entire meal can be served at room temperature.