Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pickle Brined Chicken

I apologize for the delay in recipes. The truth is - all of our home computers have died. Ish. The laptop kicked the bucket and our desktop's USB drives don't work (hence, no uploading of photos).

This is still the case, but I figured "The heck with it." I've got too much of a backlog. Eventually I will try and replace the photos with our own.

So, today's photo and (highly modified) recipe is courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine. I loved the idea of brineing the chicken with pickle juice. I found the instructions of the recipe far too fussy, though, so I streamlined them quite a bit. I didn't brine them overnight and still found them flavorful, though I think the extra time would be good. I also think this could be a great recipe on the grill for a summer BBQ.

© Simon Watson

Pickle-Brined Chicken.

4 chicken breast halves, on the bone
2 cups brine from jarred dill pickles
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, thickly sliced
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 celery ribs, thickly sliced
1/2 cup semi-dry white wine, such as an off-dry Riesling
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 pounds Swiss chard, thick stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely shredded
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken breasts with the pickle juice and a generous pinch of ground pepper. Seal the bag, pressing out any air, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in an ovenproof skillet. Add the breasts, skin side down, and cook over high heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Strain the cooking liquid and wipe out the casserole. Return the cooking liquid to the pot and boil until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes; keep warm.

Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with a layer of tinfoil and an oven-safe cooling wire rack. Place chicken on the rack, skin side up. Place the tray in the oven and roast the chicken for about 25 minutes, until cooked through, turning once halfway thru. If desired, broil for the final 5 minutes to crisp up the skin. Transfer the chicken breasts to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the Swiss chard and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, tossing, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the sauce. Spoon the chard and chicken onto plates and serve with the seared breasts. Drizzle the remaining sauce all around and serve right away.

Wine Pairing: We had this with an unoaked chardonnay.

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