Saturday, September 5, 2009

Easy Crispy Skinned Chicken a l'Orange and Parisian Style Crispy Potatoes

I have so missed not being able to blog recipes as often as I would like. In fact, I made this wonderful and E-A-S-Y dinner last Sunday. This recipe, is definitely a keeper for several reasons. It's economical, it's so simple and it's very good.

This is the second episode from Food Network's Melissa d'Arabian that I've watched. Her show is called $10.00 dinners and I have to say that I am enjoying her show. I can relate with her, since I consider myself to be a home cook, with no formal culinary training. Did I make this meal for $10.00? If you don't include the cost of many of the pantry items, I could. Well, let me show you:

Here are the simple ingredients: Orange juice concentrate, chicken breasts--bone in, skin on, honey and salt & pepper. Three chicken breasts cost about $8.25. I admit that I'm a little picky about using frozen concentrate, so I paid about $2.75 for this version, that doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup. The honey cost $6.00, from a local bee keeper right down the street where I live. I'm a little over budget, but I only used 1/2 cup of the orange juice and the rest is in the freezer for another time. I only used 4 Tablespoons of honey, so I guess you could say I was within budget of how much of the ingredients I used... now, for the sauce.

Roll up your sleeves. In a pot, pour 1/2 cup of frozen orange juice concentrate (no need to thaw), 4 Tablespoons honey, some salt and pepper. Yes, that's it! You won't even break a sweat.
TIP: I poured olive oil in my measuring cup and poured the oil into the skillet I was going to use. Next, I pour in the honey into the same measuring cup-- the honey slides right out!

Bring the sauce to a boil, for three minutes, turn off the heat and set aside.

Season the chicken with kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper. Always be careful when working with raw chicken, of course. These chicken breasts are resting on a silicone cutting sheet, on top of my wooden board. That way, I don't cross-contaminate and I wash the plastic mat in the dishwasher. You want the chicken to come to room temperature-- 15-30 minutes, tops.
TIP: Melissa reminds us that we should buy chicken on sale and freeze it. To quick thaw frozen chicken I never use the microwave. I soak chicken (I use a Food Saver bag) in a bowl of water. Within 30 minutes, it's safely thawed.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Heat an oven-proof skillet with 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (you can use olive oil, but when I am searing I prefer vegetable oil because it has a higher smoke point). The idea is to sear the chicken and get that beautiful crispy skin. The secret? Be sure that you chicken is bone dry...pat, pat, pat with towels to get all moisture off. Bring the oil hot enough to where it ripples, but it's not smoking. Put the chicken in, skin down, and sear the meat for 3 minutes (not moving it around). Flip the chicken over and glaze the chicken with a brush-- don't POUR the sauce on (or the skin can become soggy).

Put the oven-proof skillet into the oven and bake/roast for about 15-20 minutes. We want an internal temperature between 160F-170F. Halfway through I carefully (remember, the handle is hot) removed pulled out the skillet and glazed the chicken again.

I'd say the chicken is cooked. Look at the pan sauce! Remove the skillet, and set the chicken onto a carving board and cover with foil-- let is rest for about 10 minutes.

What I like about this recipe, is that there is nothing to deglaze and no sauce to reduce. It's already passing my "test" that when I ran a spatula through it, it separated. This really is a tasty sauce.

I'm still working on my "removing bones from chicken skills"-- but I managed to cut out the breast bone and then I sliced the chicken breasts. Melissa was right-- I had four generous portions.

I plated this with Melissa's Perfect Crisp Potatoes and Haricot Vert with a compound butter of tarragon and herbs. The entire meal took less than an hour, from start to dining room table.

Melissa, you did it! The chicken was really moist, and the sauce... mmm-mmm-mmm. My son does not like chicken breast meat at all. He ate this dinner and said it was incredibly delicious.

One last thing about this recipe-- buying chicken breasts with bone-in and skin on is more economical, and I do believe that the bone keeps the meat juicier. I have a confession to make, though-- can you guess? I don't like chicken skin. Still, I loved the recipe-- I ate every single bite...except for the skin.

...and, I really loved this recipe, too! These potatoes are so easy to make, non-greasy and very Parisian. I'm going to tease you, and post how to make these on a separate post.

I'm officially a fan of Melissa d'Arabian. I made both of these recipes in under an hour. Truthfully, I would serve this dinner to company. I also think that the sauce would be delicious with pork tenderloin-- and I definitely plan to test that theory.


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Cheryl said...

When you do it, you do it big! I love this dinner, I better start TIVOing her!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Honey is such a great ingredient - I'm using it more than ever before. Your chicken looks perfectly done - love the golden crispness of the skin! Are you following Melissa on Facebook - she is offering lots of great tips.

Kim said...

I really enjoyed reading about this recipe. I like that it uses common ingredients that you keep around the house. Sounds very flavorful and actually pretty darn healthy too! I'm with you on chicken skin (I can't bring myself to eat it). I always leave it on the plate just like yours : )

Monica H said...

That's the prettiest orange chicken I've ever seen. This whole meal is gorgeous. It serves 4, why didn't you invite me over?!

Phoo-D said...

This looks easy and delicious! I love bone-in chicken breasts, they seem to have more flavor.

Bella said...

This looks so good. You give us such great step by step photos! I'm with you on the reality of not being able to blog as much with school responsibilities. . . EASY is the name of the game! ~ roz

Stacey Snacks said...

Looks terrific and simple.
My kind of weeknight meal!
Happy Labor Day!

Sylwia said...

Debby, this dish looks delightful! I'll have to give it a try. BTW, I love your blog, I get inspired every time I visit! Thanks!!!

Valerina said...

I am not a huge fan of chicken but your pictures may change that. It looks incredibly moist! And I like the idea of using orange instead of the traditional lemon ( did I just say that? ) :>

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Mimi said...

The chicken looks fabulous. I use boneless/skinless chicken breast. Adjusting the cooking time should be easy enough.

Debinhawaii said...

it looks delicious--a perfect dinner for company too.

Sweet and Savory said...

I make chicken once a week and I hope to make this, this week.

Orange concentrate really packs a punch, gives lots of flavor and honey, as far as I am concerned, always works.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the potato recipe. I want to make both.

Kate said...

I am so sorry that I missed dinner! This looks delicious. A must try recipe!