Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Pan Jus and Warm Potato Salad
Makes 4 Servings
This juicy pan chicken with a creamy potato salad works pretty much any time of the year, and it’s a pretty quick dinner. The warm potato salad is equally good served cold, and gifts you some leftover whole-grain mustard mayo, a versatile marriage of two condiments that you’ll find yourself spreading on sandwiches, spooning over vegetables, or using as the base for a creamy salad dressing (just add a squeeze of lemon juice and you’re all set).
WHOLE-GRAIN MUSTARD MAYO
MAKES ABOUT ¾ CUP
½ cup mayonnaise (preferably House Mayonnaise, page 150/below)
¼ cup whole-grain mustard, store-bought or homemade (page 62/below)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
IN A medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until well mixed. The mayonnaise can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
1½ pounds fingerling or other small potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
⅓ cup Whole-Grain Mustard Mayo
4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons parsley leaves
1 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (with seeds)
PLACE THE potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with 3 inches of water, and add the salt.
Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain the potatoes and let cool for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the mustard mayo until coated. Add the radishes, tarragon, parsley, and jalapeño and gently toss.
4 boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 garlic clove, finely grated on a Microplane (or similar grater)
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 thyme sprigs
4 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
PREHEAT THE oven to 450°F. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook, occasionally rocking it with a spatula to make sure all of the skin comes in con-tact with the pan, until the skin is deeply golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken over and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breasts reads 155°F, 9 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
POUR OFF all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and place over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine, rosemary, and thyme and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half, then turn off the heat and stir in the honey and lemon juice.
SLICE EACH chicken breast into three or four pieces, then transfer to serving plates. Divide the potato salad among the plates, drizzle the pan sauce over the chicken, and serve.
THE TAKEAWAY: This recipe teaches you how to make a basic pan jus, which is one of the quickest ways to create a sauce for any manner of pan-seared meat. The process is simple: Cook a piece of meat in the pan, then pour off most of the fat. Add some aromatics (shallots, garlic, onions, etc.) to the pan and deglaze with liquid (wine, dry vermouth, and stock are great), making sure to scrape up any fond (the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan). About that fond: It’s hard to build up a fond in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet, so this is the time to use your stickiest stainless steel. For extra flavor, I like to add some herbs while the sauce is reducing. While many folks will finish a pan sauce with a knob of butter, I add lemon juice and honey to lighten and brighten it up.
MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS
1 large egg
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup canola oil
IN A blender, combine the egg, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Blend until combined. With the machine running, very slowly add the oil in a thin stream until the mixture is thickened. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS
1 cup apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup filtered water
2 tablespoons elderflower syrup
⅓ cup yellow mustard seeds
⅓ cup brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
COMBINE ALL ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours. Transfer half of the mustard to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the remaining half and pulse the machine a few times to break up the seeds, leaving the mustard coarse. Transfer to a container, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 2 days before using. The mustard can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.