There was a time, quite a few years ago, that Eric and I ate chicken almost every night. I got so sick of it because we were making it similar ways week after week. I’ve got so many recipes saved now that chicken monotony is no longer a problem. Plus, we’ve long since moved away from eating chicken so frequently. If you’re in a chicken rut, this meal is a fantastic way to end it.
While chicken can be elegant, I don’t normally think of it as so, especially when it’s boneless skinless breasts. This dish easily changed my mind, though. Not just elegant, this dish is insanely delicious and can be made in about twenty minutes. At the risk of sounding overly effusive, this is the best meal Eric and I have eaten in a long time. The chicken tastes fine on its own, and it develops a nice crust during its short cooking time. However, the real star of this dish is the sauce, which owes its golden yellow hue and rich taste to the saffron. Combine that with tender, sweet shallots, and you’ve got a sauce that’s hard to resist. After I took these photos, I spooned some of the sauce onto my mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. It was just that good. I’m usually wary of cream sauces on meat, but this one isn’t heavy like you might expect. The cream is added at the end, after the chicken broth is reduced, resulting in a sauce that’s neither too thick nor too thin. This sauce transforms a simple sautéed chicken breast into something magical, and I cannot wait to make this meal again.
- YIELD: 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken breasts, pounded thin (You can also use chicken cutlets, which are already thin.)
¾ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning chicken
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning chicken
2 shallots, sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup dry white wine
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot oil. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium, then add the shallots and garlic. Cook about 2 minutes, until the shallots are tender. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure to scrape up any brown bits at the bottom. Cook until the wine has all but evaporated, then add the chicken broth and saffron. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until reduced by half. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper and continue simmering an additional minute.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.