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!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chicken and Shallots with Cherry-Apricot Sauce

An easy yet luscious sauce takes simple pan-seared chicken breasts to a new level. Chunky, sweet cherry preserves and fruity dried Turkish apricots form the base of this rich, silky sauce, brightened with a hint of balsamic vinegar and fresh tarragon. (Note: If you can't find Turkish, other dried apricots will work.)

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large shallots, cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 oz dried Turkish apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cherry preserves
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
Cherry Preserves and Turkish Apricots
Chopped Apricots
  1. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature (to keep the chicken warm).
  2. Heat a large, heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook until golden on the bottom, 6-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the breasts over and scatter the shallot rings around them. Sear the chicken until golden on the other side and just cooked through, about 6 minutes longer. Cook the shallots, stirring frequently, until softened and golden, about 6 minutes. (Tip: Lay a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the skillet to help retain moisture as the chicken finishes.)
  4. Transfer the chicken and shallots to a plate and keep warm in the oven. Do not wipe out the skillet.
Chicken Beginning to Sear 
After Turning 
Seared Chicken and Shallots
  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low heat and add the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirling to combine. Add the dried apricots, cherry preserves, and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fruit is softened and the sauce thickens slightly, 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Return the chicken and shallots (and any accumulated juices) to the skillet and stir into the sauce, turning the chicken breasts to coat.
Sauce Beginning to Cook 
Thickened Sauce
Plate the chicken, shallots, and sauce and sprinkle with chopped tarragon. Serve right away.

Chicken and Shallots with Cherry-Apricot Sauce

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