Christmas is only 10 days away and those days will feel like they have less and less hours. While I absolutely adore the holidays, they can get hectic and stressful, and we can forget to eat well. There are so many quick and good-for-you recipes that are so much better for you than grabbing fast food or going to a restaurant. I tried this one the other night and really just got one pan and a cutting board dirty. It’s quick, easy and the teenagers studying for finals rated it delicious. I found this recipe on Fine Cooking. Even though it called for fresh orange juice, I just used Simply Orange and it was perfect. I also used skinless chicken breasts and it was tasty.
For the Chicken:
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
6 to 7 boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
2 Tbsp brandy (I used Cognac because that’s what I had)
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 navel or valencia orange, cut into segments, segments cut into thirds
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Brine the Chicken:
Combine the orange juice, zest, 6 Tbsp salt, and 4 cups water in a large bowl or pot; stir to dissolve the salt. Add the chicken breasts and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Cook the Chicken:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the chicken skin side down in a snug single layer and cook until the skin is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, season with 1/4-tsp salt and a few grinds of pepper, and put the pan in the oven. Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees in the center of the thickest breast, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the chicken to a carving board, tent with foil, and let rest while you make the sauce.
Make the Sauce:
1. Pour the juices from the skillet into a heatproof measuring cup. Let the fat rise to the surface and then spoon it off.
2. Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirirng, until soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the brandy. Return the pan to the heat and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the brandy has almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high and add the orange juice. Boil until thick and syrupy and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, pan juices, and any juices from the carving board. Boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes.
3. Swirl in the orange segments. Then, off the heat, swirl in the remaining 1 Tbsp butter and the parsley until the butter is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, cut the chicken on the diagonal into thin slices and arrange on serving plates. Drizzle with the sauce.