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Red Wine Sauce ov’r Chicken

June 19, 2009

I’ve had absolutely nothing to do at work these last few days (this is a start to a very crappy excuse for not writing, right?), so I’ve been all around procrastinating everything. Like, seriously, everything. I have 3 1/2 finished blog posts, 2 note cards started to friends, 5 hours left attached to my desk at the office, and no motivation.

It’s a vicious, vicious cycle, but o well. This week is officially, finally, almost done. I’ve got good intel that the boss-man is going to be reappearing guns a’ blazing next week, but that’s next week, so no reason to worry today.

And last night, I cooked. According to everything I’ve ever learned in any cooking class, pan sauces are among the easiest (read: laziest) ways to make a dish look and taste like you truly rocked out some effort. More-so, this red wine & chicken is a pretty classic, non-earth-shattering combo, and the pan sauce would probably go crazy good with any cute of meat you could find (steak, heartier fishes), and takes all of 20 mins start to finish.

Because the sauce depends on bits of meat that have been cooked onto the pan – “fonds” according to shmancy people – pan sauces aren’t any good in a nonstick skillet. So find that stick skillet and give it a day in the sun.

Red Wine Sauce ov’r Chicken

4 tblsp butter, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tblsp minced shallot
2 boneless chicken breast
1 cup red wine (or 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup chicken stock)
1 tblsp tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

In a large, non-nonstick skillet, heat 1 tblsp of butter over medium high heat.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Put a handful of flour on a plate and dredge chicken to get a nice, even layer of flour on both sides. Shake off any excess

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Cook garlic and shallot in butter until tender.
Before adding the chicken, test the heat of the pan by flicking in a little of the dredging flour. You may have to adjust heat (make it hotter) to get the desired effect. If the flour sizzles enthusiastically and immediately turns golden, the pan is ready. Place chicken in the skillet, and cook about 4 minutes without moving the pieces. I know you’re going to want to check, but DON’T – this will only screw up your crust.

Then, starting with the first one in the pan, turn them over and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add the wine to de-glaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Add tarragon, salt and pepper. Pour any juices that have accumulated on your chicken plate to the sauce.

Whisk in the remaining tablespoons of butter and whisk until smooth and glossy. (Tilt the pan to bring the small amount of liquid to one side while you whisk in the butter.) Add chicken back to pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

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