I’ve made this dish numerous times over the years, and it’s been a constant favorite with family and friends. It’s easy to make, very flavorful, and beautiful to present — all great things in a party dish! I had my book club girls (the 4 of us have been getting together for almost a decade now to share our favorite books, food, wine and gossip) and it got rave reviews once again. In fact, it was they who recommended I post the recipe on my blog.
Consider serving this with white and wild rice and a bright colored vegetable (carrots, broccolini, green beans) so that the plate has some variety of color.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup dry (Brut) champagne or sparkling wine
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Drizzle the lemon juice over the uncooked chicken breasts, and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the oil and butter. When the butter is melted but not brown, add the chicken breasts and brown well on one side (approximately 2-3 minutes). Turn the chicken breasts over and do the same on the other side, then remove to a baking sheet.
Place the chicken in the oven, and cook for 9-10 minutes. When done, remove from the oven, and tent loosely with foil to keep warm if the sauce is not yet ready.
Immediately after placing the chicken in the oven, begin making the sauce. The skillet in which you browned the chicken should still be hot, and you can leave the heat on high. Add the champagne and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Cook on high until the champagne is reduced to just 1-2 tablespoons. Add the shallots and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and reduce again until just 1-2 Tbsp remain, stirring often so that the garlic and shallots do not burn. Reduce the heat to medium, and slowly stir in the cream or half and half. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the mustard and then add 3 Tbsp of the chives. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal in 1″ slices. To serve, put a bed of rice on each plate, and top decoratively with the chicken slices. Drizzle the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with remaining chives for garnish. Serve any remaining sauce on the side, and enjoy!
note: since I didn’t remember to take a photo of the dish, the photo used in this post is a very close approximation, and was borrowed without express permission from the Eating Well website. Full reference to the photo and its original use is here: http://bit.ly/ciYYg4.>