Thursday, November 6, 2008

Apple-Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts

I thought, "How good could another chicken recipe be?" This one from Cook's Illustrated is REALLY good (with apple cider, corn syrup and maple syrup, it speaks to my sweet tooth). My kids don't even need to dip it in something. I think it'll be an easy recipe once I've got the hang of the multiple steps.

1 1/2 c apple cider (plus an additional 2 T)
1/3 c light corn syrup
2 T maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/8 t red pepper flakes (I left these out)
salt and pepper
1/2 c flour
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces each, ribs removed and trimmed of excess fat and skin)
2 t oil
1 medium shallot, minced (3 T)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk 1 1/2 cups apple cider, corn syrup, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, pepper flakes, 1/8 t salt, and 1/8 t pepper together in medium bowl. Place flour in pie plate, then season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Working with one chicken breast at a time, coat chicken with flour, patting off excess.

2. Heat oil (I used 2 T, 2 t didn't seem like enough) in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet (I used my iron skillet) over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken breasts skin-side down; cook until well browned and most of fat has rendered from skin, 8-14 minutes. (If after 3 minutes you don't hear definite sizzling, increase heat to medium-high. If after 6 minutes chicken is darker than lightly browned, reduce heat slightly.) Turn chicken and lightly brown other side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate.

3. Pour off all but 1 t fat from pan (I left 2 T fat again). Add shallot and cook until softened, 1-2 min. Increase heat to high and add apple cider mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduce to 1 c (heatproof spatula should leave a slight trail when dragged through glaze), 6-10 min (mine took more like 15-20 min; I don't think I had the heat on high enough). Remove skillet from heat and tilt to one side so glaze pools in corner of pan. Using tongs, roll each chicken breast in pooled glaze to coat evenly and place skin-side down in skillet (um, I didn't see this part, my breasts were skin side up, which I think made them nice and brown).

4. Transfer skillet to oven and bake chicken until thickest part of breasts registers 160 degrees on instant read thermometer, 25-30 minutes, turning chicken skin-side up halfway through cooking (yep, mine were skin-side up the whole time). Transfer chicken to platter and let rest 5 mintues. Return skillet to high heat (be careful--handle will be very hot) and cook glaze, stirring constantly, until thick and syrupy (heatproof spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and whisk in remaining 2 T apple cider. Spoon 1 t glaze over each breast and serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

No comments: