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!
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.