Spice Crusted Chicken with Orange and Ginger Beurre Blanc
- 4 boneless chicken breasts skin on, wing bone attached (optional)
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chilli pepper
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 knob ginger peeled and sliced finely
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 whole peppercorns
- 2 French shallots peeled and sliced finely
- 250 grams unsalted butter cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes (leave out of fridge for at least 1 hour
- 1/8 cup fresh cream
- 1 orange juice only
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
Beurre blanc is a traditional French butter sauce. In this recipe I’ve tweaked it a little by adding the juice of an orange and infused it with a little ginger. It works very well with the spicy coating on the chicken. Beurre blanc is really quite an easy sauce as long as you take your time. Once you’ve done it a few times you will find yourself making it over and over and hopefully coming up with new ideas for it as well.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 fahrenheit)
- Place the shallot, ginger, bay leaves, peppercorns and the wine in a small saucepan and place on a low flame until only a bit of liquid is left and a slight glaze appears on the bottom of the pan (approx ½ an hour).
- Add the cream to the wine reduction and reduce further on very low heat.
- Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks and place them in a mortar & pestle with the paprika, chilli, garlic, turmeric, a decent pinch or two of sea salt and some cracked pepper.
- Grind the ingredients together add a few drips of olive oil.
- Rub the paste into the skin on top of each chicken breast and smear any leftovers onto the bottom of the breasts.
- Place a non stick pan on med-high heat and add a touch oil, sear the breasts skin side down first until lightly coloured, turn and sear the bottom and transfer to a lightly oiled oven proof dish and bake for 12-18 minutes, breasts will feel firm to the touch when cooked. It’s a fine line between under cooked and overcooked chicken so monitor it closely.
- By the time the chicken goes in the oven the reduced wine and cream should be ready to start adding the butter.
- Turn the heat up on the wine/cream reduction for just a minute and then remove the saucepan from the heat all together.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in butter cubes about 5 at a time. Do not add more until the others have completely melted (very important that you constantly stir at this stage).
- Add the remaining butters 5 at a time then stir in the orange juice and cinnamon, taste for seasoning and strain the entire sauce through a fine sieve and set aside.
- Arrange the now finished breasts on the plates and pour the sauce over just before serving. Definitely a white wine meal, and for once I agree with the “Unoaked Chardonnay enthusiasts”, a perfect match.