Friday, April 6, 2012

Caramelized Chicken with Jalapeno Cream

I am so glad I found this recipe because it is a keeper. Simple chicken with a yummy sauce that I served over my favorite rice, baked garlic rice pilaf.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (I left the seeds in 1 jalapeno)
1 shallot, sliced (I used 1 tbsp chopped yellow onion)
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup milk
1 (12 oz) can fat-free evaporated milk
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Add chopped jalapenos, shallots and garlic to a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped (not pureed). Set aside.

Rinse chicken breasts under water. Pat completely dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add chicken breasts (make sure they are COMPLETELY DRY) and cook for about 10 minutes per side, until each side is caramelized and golden. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil when you flip the chicken.

Note: After cooking for 10 minutes on each side, I transferred the chicken to a foil lined baking sheet and covered it tightly with another piece of foil and let it bake for about 15 minutes more on 350 degrees. The chicken breasts I was using were really thick, so I just wanted to ensure that they were fully cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, add in the chopped jalapeno mixture, stirring to coat, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once fragrant (do NOT put your face directly over the jalapenos!), whisk in flour and stir continuously to create a roux. Cook mixture for 1-2 minutes, then add in the two different milks, reducing the heat to medium-low.

Continue to stir continuously until mixture begins to thicken then add the Parmesan cheese and reducing the heat even more. Once the desired thickness has been reached, turn off heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Note: It will thicken while sitting – so just add additional milk to thin it out right before serving. Serve chicken over rice and top with sauce.

Source: adapted from How Sweet It Is
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