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!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Grande Marnier and Fig Sauce

Lean, pan-seared chicken breasts make an easy, fast, healthful, and inviting dinner—especially when you add a flavorful sauce or glaze. 

Here, I mixed sweet and fruity fig preserves with the semi-tart, semi-sweet taste of Grand Marnier, an orange-flavored liqueur made from a blend of Cognac brandy, bitter orange, and sugar. Tame the sweetness with a bit of balsamic vinegar and stir in a pat of butter for a silky, creamy finish, and this sauce is ready to make the chicken (and your guests) happy.

Tip: You can substitute Cointreau or Triple Sec—two other orange-flavored liqueurs—for the Grand Marnier, if you choose.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 3 tbsp fig preserves
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients
  1. Heat a large, heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook until golden on the bottom, 5-6 minutes.
  2. Turn the breasts over and cook until golden on the other side and just cooked through, 5-6 minutes longer, depending on thickness. (Tip: Lay a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the skillet to help retain moisture as the chicken finishes.) Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Do not wipe out the skillet.

Chicken Beginning to Cook
After Turning
  1. Reduce the heat to low. Add the preserves, liqueur, and vinegar to the skillet, stirring constantly and scraping up brown bits, until the preserves have melted, 1-2 minutes. Add the butter and 2 teaspoons rosemary and season with salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate all.
  2. Return the chicken breasts along with any accumulated juices to the pan, turning to coat in the sauce.

Sauce Beginning to Cook
Chicken Returned to Pan

To serve, plate the chicken breasts, spooning sauce on top. Garnish with chopped rosemary and serve.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Grande Marnier and Fig Sauce


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