Citrus-Braised Chicken Breast with Sweet Roasted Garlic

Five Little Chefs – Citrus-Braised Chicken Breast with Sweet Roasted Garlic

  It was Little Chef C’s turn to cook a Chef Robert recipe from his cookbook, Impossible to Easy. She chose Citrus-Braised Chicken Breast with Sweet Roasted Garlic.

The first step was to cut the root end off of the garlic head. Which is the root end? We thought we were right. We thought it was the end with all the little hairs on it. It was VERY hard for Little Chef C to cut through. She wanted me to finish and I quickly realized it was hard to cut through. Then half of the cloves fell off because it was attached at the root. We were very confused now. How were we going to stand it cut side up to pour oil on the cut end? We decided to just pour oil on some of the garlic and on the foil and dip the cut ends of the pieces that fell off. Then it was wrapped in foil and put in the oven to roast for an hour.


We were trying to speed up the recipe because we only had a short window (2 hours) to prepare the meal and eat. You would think that is a long time, but for us, with Little Chefs cooking that is the standard prep/cooking time each night! No matter what the recipe!
This was the first time Little Chef C used the microplane grater. I wanted to get one for a while, but thought our regular grater should work as well. I would watch those on Food Network and their zesting ability was so much better. I was convinced it was the tool! We finally bought one and it is amazing! Little Chef C knew she only wanted the yellow outside, not the white part. I told her three times then turn the lemon. She counted out loud, Little Chef D heard her and came to join in. She loves to count as well! After a while Little Chef C’s arms became tired so she passed the job to Little Chef D.

I told Little Chef C it was time to juice the lemon. She was worried right away. She has not been successful using this tool, but she was going to try. We worked at it together, but I did realize I might need to search for an easier juicer. We did have a problem though because of the way the lemon was inserted into the juicer it did not catch all the seeds so she had to fish them out with a spoon. She was happy she did not have to “get her hands dirty” picking them out.

She added the ingredients to the food processor was she measured them out. When they were all in she turned it on to incorporate. This is a lot easier then one at a time through the little hole.

The garlic was pulled out of the oven when it was done, or done enough…we were trying to hurry this along. Little Chef C said it “looked like butter” as we were squeezing it out into the bowl. I can understand her thinking.

When it was time to put the chicken in the pan she asked “can you help me?” She is very cautious around the oven and stove top. I am fine with that for now. It is good for her to know her limits. She will in time become more familiar and therefore more comfortable with that environment. When it was time to flip she did that very well all by herself.

We used chicken broth instead of white wine. I’m not sure how that affects the flavor, but if I never know what’s the difference! Butter was added to finish the sauce.

Little Chef A said it was “really good.” That is a standard response from her, but her mannerisms and excitement agreed. She continued, “The lemon makes a perfect flavor.” She was sad when there wasn’t any more chicken for her to have more! Little Chef C said, “two thumbs up! This is the best chicken.”

Citrus-Braised Chicken Breast with Sweet Roasted Garlic
 Robert Irvine (Impossible To Easy)

1 whole head of garlic
3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/8  cup fresh rosemary leaves
2 Tablespoons lemon pepper
Four 6-8 ounce boneless chicken breasts, skin on if possible
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (2 Tablespoons cut into slices for the chicken, 2 Tablespoons cut into cubes for the sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsely leaves

First, roast the garlic cloves. Preheat the oven to 425 degre
es F. Slice the root end of the entire head of garlic and turn it upside down, wrapping it in aluminum foil and molding the foil so that it allows the cut end to stand upright in the oven. Pour 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil on the garlic so that it oozes between the skin and the garlic cloves and enclose the head of garlic with foil. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the garlic isn’t burning.

To make the paste that will be the chicken crust, add one at a time through the feed opening of a running blender the lemon juice and zest, rosemary, and lemon pepper. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves. Mash into a paste.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Press the lemon/garlic paste onto the surface of the curved side of the chicken breasts to form what will be a crust. In a large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil over medium heat and add the 2 tablespoons of sliced butter (reserving the other 2 tablespoons for the sauce). When the oil/butter mixture is hot, add the chicken, crust side down, and sear it, leaving it undisturbed for about 4 minutes to allow the seasonings to integrate into the surface of the chicken and prevent them from “crusting off.” Flip the chicken breasts over and saute the other side for about 3 minutes.  Add the wine to the pan and cook for a few minutes to let the flavors integrate. Reduce the heat to low and add the orange juice. Cover and let simmer until fork-tender, about 25-35 minutes, spooning the sauce over the chicken intermittently.

Remove the chicken to a utility platter and keep warm, reserving the pan juices for the sauce. Set a strainer over a bowl and strain the pan juices from the chicken into a small bowl, scraping all bits from the pan into the strainer. Return the juices to the pan and reduce the liquid over medium-high heat. Make a slurry in a small bowl by adding 1 tablespoon water to the cornstarch. Whisk the slurry into the sauce in the pan. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cubed butter.


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1 Reply to "Citrus-Braised Chicken Breast with Sweet Roasted Garlic"

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    Sunshine Girl March 15, 2012 (10:42 pm)

    Yum! this looks delicious, one to try 🙂

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