Juicy and tender chicken breast with a velvety, sweet and tangy orange sauce. So good!
I have a problem with this orange series: I’ve cooked 11 different recipes, sweet and savory and I loved each one of them. And that is a problem, because I have now a really hard time in choosing those recipes that I will share with you. There are only 4 posting days left this month, so I really have to decide what to post now and what to leave for some other future occasion. And that is not easy…. I just spent more than half an hour looking at the different pictures and thinking about the recipes, until I chose this one and I am still not entirely sure to have made the right decision, the other chicken with oranges recipe is also soooooo delicious…..
I think the main reason to have chosen this particular chicken recipe and not the other one is the fact that this sauce can be made and enjoyed not only with chicken but also with fish. I know the last recipe was salmon with oranges and that is why I did not bother taking pictures of the salmon with orange sauce plate, but I can assure you this sauce pairs just as good with fish (salmon or another sort) as it does with chicken breast. And although I haven’t tried, I am pretty sure you could also serve this sauce to duck breast or pork tenderloin.
And that chicken breast…… Chicken is my favorite kind of meat, I eat it often and I have cooked it in a thousand different ways, but this way of cooking it kind of stands out. It is very very simple and fast, you just cannot go wrong when making it, beside the chicken breast it only requires a few spices and the result is fantastic: the juiciest, best chicken breasts I know. And you can combine it with whatever else you like, different kind of sauces, potatoes or rice or noodles, any veggies you can think of, you can put it in a sandwich when cold or throw it on top of a salad, there are really no limits here.
And what can I say about the oranges, I have always loved them and I have used them in baking or cooking occasionally over the past years. But I was still impressed now, when really trying to find different ways of using them in a relatively short period of time, of their versatility. There is so much you can do with them, the flavor and freshness they bestow upon each dish they are a part of is unbelievable.
- For the chicken:
- 2 – 4 chicken breasts, depending on size
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- some sweet paprika (or other spices of choice)
- salt and pepper
- For the sauce:
- 2 large, organic oranges (you will need 1 teaspoon zest and 200 ml/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon juice)
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 200 ml/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon chicken stock
- 1-2 tablespoons cognac, to taste
- 30 g/ 2 tablespoons cold butter
- salt and pepper
- Start by making the sauce, it needs to cook a little bit longer than the chicken.
- Zest one orange, you will need about 1 teaspoon zest. Juice both oranges, you will need 200 ml/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon orange juice.
- Caramelize the icing sugar in a small saucepan. Add the orange juice and the chicken stock and stir to dissolve the sugar clumps. Add the orange zest, bring everything to a boil and reduce this liquid to half. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper and 1 or 2 tablespoons cognac to taste and sieve the sauce through a fine meshed sieve.
- Pour the sauce back into the saucepan. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and give the cubes to the sauce, one after another, while stirring all the time. The sauce needs to be served immediately.
- While the sauce is cooking prepare the chicken breasts. If you have 2 large chicken breasts, slice them diagonally to obtain 2 thinner pieces. Place the chicken breasts between 2 layers of plastic foil and pound them using a meat pounder (I use the bottom of a small, heavy saucepan to pound the meat). Make sure that the chicken pieces are evenly thick all over. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper on both sides. You can choose other spices if you wish.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, cast iron pan. Cook the chicken, 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Do not overcook! Place on a warm plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce is ready.
- Serve immediately with the orange sauce, rice and veggies of choice.
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