Pan sauces turn a normal chicken dinner into a gourmet one and only add about 5 minutes of time. Most pan sauces call for wine to deglaze the pan, shallots or garlic or both, some stock and a little butter or cream. The sauce is reduced several times to prevent a boozy taste. For this one, all you need is some citrus juice, Back to Organic Cumin Lime French Grey, minced garlic and chicken stock which is boiled for about 3 minutes so you can easily make this. Drizzle a little honey over the juices if you want a thicker glaze or need to sweeten the sauce.
I highly recommend using fresh orange and lemon juice but freshly squeezed store bought will do if you are short on time. The original recipe from Epicurious calls for the zest as well which I love to add for all the health benefits but I feel the zest overpowers this sauce so I eliminated it. Do try to use a rich homemade stock for more flavor. Pacific Foods has an organic chicken stock if you do not have homemade stock.
To bake the juiciest, most flavorful chicken dinner, here are some tips. Buy chicken breasts with the bone in and skin on. If you have time, brine them. This makes a huge difference since the searing takes away moisture in the meat and you are cooking these at a higher temperature to save time but unfortunately also dries the breasts out faster.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook, pat down the meat and skin with a paper towel and allow the meat to air dry at room temp; a soggy bird will not brown. Letting the breasts come to room temp will help them cook more evenly and cook faster. Season the meat all over, including under the skin while the breasts are coming to room temp which tenderizes the meat.
Then when it is time to cook, sear the chicken skin side down for 5 minutes for a more intense flavor. Browning the outside providing a better presentation as well. Then pop the breasts in the oven to finish baking for about 25 minutes. Make sure you do not overcook them since this will dry out the meat. If you are a beginner, use a good thermometer which can stay in the oven as it cooks. When the temperature reads 155 to 160 degrees, take them out. While the breasts are resting, create a pan sauce using all the yummy drippings in the skillet.
How many of you read this article on chicken containing arsenic? To avoid any contamination and enjoy a better texture in the meat, try to buy organic chickens. My favorite is White Oak Pasture but they do not sell chicken breasts, only whole chickens. The skin on, bone in breasts I used to make this recipe are Bell and Evans organic chicken in a prepackaged container of 2 breasts.
1) Preheat Oven- 400 degrees convection, 425 degrees standard.
2) Season and Bring to Room Temperature- Pat the chickens dry with a towel. Slide the skin back from the meat and rub 1 teaspoon of Back to Organic Cumin Lime French Grey all over the meat of each chicken breast. Set aside to come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
2) Sear- Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a hot skillet. When oil is shimmering, place the breasts skin side down in the oil and let them sear for 5 minutes. You may need 2 pans if the breasts are large.
3) Bake- Place the chicken breasts in the oven and bake until thermometer measures 155 to 160 degrees, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a plate to rest for a juicier breast. (Resting is important.)
4) Make the Sauce- Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and toss in oils stirring constantly to prevent the bits from burning, cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Cumin Lime French Grey and stir. Add 1 tablespoon of honey if desired. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes until reduced to about 1 cup.
5) Serve- Pour the pan sauce over the ckichen breasts and sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the top. Serve warm. Enjoy with Cumin Lime Maple Carrots, a side salad with a citrus dressing, or a steamed green vegetable.