Dinner tonight was inspired by a leftover jar of cherry preserves. You could certainly use this technique with a variety of preserves or jelly to change-up the flavors. It’s also super quick which is a definite plus!
The secret to this dish is knowing how to cook your chicken breast. First, you need to cut the breast into cutlets. Simply slice the breast horizontally so you have 2 thinner breasts or cutlets. Cutlets cook so much better than the whole breast. Next, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper or Tony’s (obviously we’re a big fan of Tony’s around here!). Heat your skillet and add some oil to coat. Because you are making a sauce, you don’t want to use a non-stick skillet here. Trust me when I say that if you cook your chicken correctly, it won’t stick to a non non-stick pan. You want your skillet good and hot when you add then chicken so you get a good sear on the outside. Heat it at about medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4 min/ side. Once you add the chicken to the pan, do NOT move it! This is the key to prevent sticking. As the chicken cooks and the crust develops on the exterior, it will naturally release itself from the pan.
Your chicken is done when it reaches 160 degrees. A thermometer is a must in the kitchen. It allows you to always know when your meat is perfectly done and you don’t have to slice into the middle loosing juice. Remove the chicken from the pan, set on a plate, and tent with foil. Let your chicken rest until the temperature reaches 170 degrees. There is residual heat in meat that causes the temperature to rise after you take it off heat and the resting period allows the juice to redistribute and the meat to reach the proper temperature.
While your meat is resting, add some onions and cook until golden. Remember, don’t worry about what’s in the bottom of the skillet. It’s flavoring for the sauce!
Once your onions are golden, deglaze the pan with a bit of chicken stock to start getting up the frond in the bottom of the pan.
The chicken stock will start to thicken up as it incorporates the frond. Add the preserves to the pan now
Stir it around and the preserves should begin to liquefy some. Add stock as needed to thin out the preserves but not so much that you over thin the sauce.
Uncover your chicken and if there is any juice on the plate, stir it in the sauce. It really helps finish off the flavor. You can also add a bit of salt to taste at this point.
You know your sauce is done when you can draw the spoon through and it holds it shape briefly
And, you’re done! We served our chicken and sauce over brown basmati rice with a quick stir fried broccoli on the side (more to come on that!)