I know what you’re thinking – “Braised chicken breast? What kind of sense does that make?” Admittedly, not a whole lot, at least not until you try it. If you think of it as a chicken stew instead, the concept becomes a little easier to grasp. It’s a technique I recently learned in class and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make some at home. That opportunity finally arrived in the form of a family gathering, and I’m pleased to report that this flavorful dish was a big hit!
It’s got a decent handful of steps to it, but in general it’s not all that difficult, so check out the recipe and give it a try!
Active Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Prep Time: About 1½ hours
Special Equipment: None
Serves: 6 – 8
- 6 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 – 3 cups chicken stock (not pictured)
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
- About ½ cup heavy cream
- About ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 leek leaf
- 1 - 2 fresh parsley stems
- 1 - 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 - 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Splash of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Take the parsley stems, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves, and tie them inside the leek leaf using kitchen string to form a bouquet garni. Set aside. (You don’t have to use a leek leaf here, you can simply the the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves with the string directly if you choose.)
3. In a large sauce pan or stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the diced chicken to the pot and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
5. Pour in chicken broth – just enough that it does not completely submerge the chicken. Add the bouquet garni to the pot and simmer until the liquid has been reduced by about half.
6. Using a piece of parchment paper, form a cartouche. (Basically, this is a circular lid that you place in the pot in order to trap humidity and prevent the chicken from browning. Here is a good tutorial for making one if you need assistance) Place the cartouche in the pan.
7. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and place in the oven for 35 – 45 minutes. The chicken should now be tender enough to practically fall apart in your mouth. Remove the bouquet garni.
8. In a separate sauce pan, whisk the cream, egg yolk, lemon juice, and about 1 cup of the braising liquid in which the chicken has been cooking. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mixture back to the pot containing the chicken, stir, and serve hot.