I go through serious phases with food where I develop fixations on certain ingredients…
At the moment its Prunes. California Prunes to be specific. I’m going mad for them. These sweet little nuggets of juicy plump goodness are finding their way into all of my dishes. Today was a particular fave. If fact I didn’t intend to make it a blog post, but it was so tasty I just had to.
For those of you that don’t know, thanksgiving is coming up this thursday.
As I was munching my way through the plate at lunch time, it occurred to me what a perfect two-man thanksgiving dinner it would make. With the addition of festive chestnuts and a side of sweet yams, perhaps a green bean casserole (if you must) you would be in business.
Alternately this dish makes a pretty impressive date night meal. You can’t really go wrong… everyone likes chicken.
The ingredient list is minimal and it definitely a sexier than a burger… especially if you are wining and dining a girl who is as messy as a baby ape… maybe that’s just me?!
Just serve with a big bowl of seasonal steamed greens or peas.
Resting meat : Is key. It relaxes the fibers after you cook them and results in a better, juicier finish! Just look at that juicy breast….
- 2 large Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 Onion
- 300ml Chicken Stock
- 1/2 tsp Mustard
- 6 Prunes, chopped
- 1 tbs Brandy, or a generous slug
- 3-4 sprigs of chopped Tarragon leaves, plus a few for garnish
- 2 tbs Double Cream
- Salt and Black Pepper
Begin by making the sauce. Sweat the Onion in a little butter, over a medium/low heat until soft and translucent. Increase the heat slightly to get a little caramelization in the pan, then de-glaze with the brandy (be generous)
Add the Stock and 1 of the sprigs of tarragon leaves to the pan. Reduce the stock by 1/2 by keeping it over the heat on a low setting.
In the meantime, make the mash and prepare the chicken by seasoning it with a little salt and pepper. Add a small frying pan to the heat, melt the knob of butter in it. Wait until the butter is foaming before adding the chicken breasts. Pan fry the chicken over a medium/high heat on one side until its nice and golden, then flip.
Increase the heat to high for a couple of minutes, to get caramelization over the meat on the other side, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the chicken with a lid and simmer for 8-10 minutes depending on the side of the chicken breast. Set aside to rest the meat whilst you make the rest of the dish.
If you check the meat, after you remove the meat from the pan don’t worry if it is lightly pink. The residual heat in the chicken breast will mean that the meat continues on cooking.
Whilst the meat is resting, (covered in foil) finely chop the remaining tarragon leaves, saving a few. Put the sauce through a fine sieve, to remove the onion chunks. Return the sauce back to the heat.
Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the cream and mustard and add the chopped prunes. Add the tarragon to the sauce right before serving.
Dollop the mash on a plate. Top with the sliced chicken and drizzle over the prune and brandy sauce.