Want to be a better cook? Learn techniques. One of the easiest and best is how to do a chicken breast sautée. The variations are endless, the technique is simple.
This is sautéed chicken breast, with a mushroom and creme fraiche sauce, with crispy garlic, on a bed of spinach. Looks impressive, tasted great, AND was pretty easy to do.
Basic Chicken Sautée (will show this variation at end)
Either buy the free-range, organic chicken breasts sliced thin (the easiest way), or pound them between plastic until they are 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a couple of teaspoons of good olive oil in a pan, medium heat, when it is hot add the chicken. because it is thin it should only take a about 2 minutes on each side, you want it golden but not overcooked or it gets dry.
Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you make your sauce, it is the sauce that opens up endless variations.
A basic sauce would be to add some garlic and mushrooms to the pan, after the chicken is done, let cook for 30 seconds and add a couple of tablespoons of white wine. When the mushrooms are starting to get shinny, the wine will be reduced. Remove pan from the heat, whisk in a tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper if you like, and you are done.
When the sauce is done, place the chicken breast on the plate, pour the sauce over. Now how easy is that?
For the dish in the picture I varied it as follows:
I sliced garlic into slivers about 1/16th of an inch thick, heated the olive oil as I always do but before adding the chicken sautéed the garlic until it was just starting to show some golden color. Be careful not to over cook or it gets bitter. Then I removed the garlic to a paper towel to drain, save for the end.
Now the olive oil in the pan was infused with garlic so I added the chicken and sautéed as above.
For the sauce I used the same process as the basic mushroom sauce already described except instead of adding butter at the end I used crème fraiche.
To assemble I put a bed of fresh spinach on the plate, the chicken on next, then sauce over the chicken. To finish I sprinkled the crisp garlic over the sauce. Served with a couple of grilled baguette slices and it was ready to go.
Watch for more variations in future blogs, or email for ideas.