Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pan-Grilled Chicken Breasts with Apricot Compote

Compotes originated as desserts, sometimes sprinkled with warm spices as a finish. Now they often end up as an accompaniment to the dessert course because they make a good syrupy, fruity topping for sweets like ice cream or pound cake.

I say forget dessert altogether. A rich, thick, not-too-sweet compote makes the perfect finishing drizzle for savory dishes like meat or poultry. I used apricots for this recipe and tempered the sweetness with a little shallot and fresh lemon juice. Spoon it on top of smoky grilled chicken to turn a simple main course into one that’s extra inviting.

Tip: To cut each apricot into eight pieces:

Fresh apricots
Run a knife blade lengthwise around the apricot 
Cut into halves and remove the pit 
Cut each half in half 
Cut each quarter in half
Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 lb fresh, ripe apricots, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Compote Ingredients
  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter and shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  2. Add the apricots, water, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, covered with the lid slightly ajar, until the apricots begin to soften, 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until the sauce is slightly thick and syrupy, 8-10 minutes longer. Rewarm gently before serving, if not using right away.
Butter and Shallot 
Remaining Ingredients Added 
Compote after 10 Minutes 
Cooked Compote 
Apricot Compote
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill until golden and just cooked through, turning a few times, 12-14 minutes total, depending on thickness.
Chicken Beginning to Grill
To serve, plate the chicken breasts and spoon warm compote on top.

Pan-Grilled Chicken Breasts with Apricot Compote

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