Jacques Pépin’s Suprême of Chicken with Balsamic & Shallot Sauce, Side of Corn & Peas

SOURCE: Jacques Pépin

YIELD: 4 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
4 boneless skinless, chicken breast halves (each about 6 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1 cup diced (1/2-inch) white button mushrooms
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 cup water

Corn and Peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
About 2 cups corn kernels (from 3–4 ears of corn)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (choose baby peas if using frozen)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Here I cook chicken breasts fast so they remain moist. A balsamic vinegar sauce lifts their flavor.

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil over high heat in a heavy saucepan or skillet large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer. When hot, add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper. Sauté, uncovered, for about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the breasts to an ovenproof plate, reserving the drippings in the pan, and place them in the oven and continue cooking for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Add the shallots and mushrooms to the drippings in the pan, and cook for about 1 minute over high heat. Add the vinegar and ketchup and continue cooking for another minute. Add the water, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and stir until it is incorporated.

Meanwhile, for the corn and peas: Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the corn, peas, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

To serve, arrange a ring of vegetables on each of four plates. Cut each breast in half crosswise on a slant and place the breast pieces in the center of the vegetables. Coat the chicken with the sauce, sprinkle with the chives, and serve.

In place of the colorful side dish of corn and peas, you could serve a starch, such as potatoes or pasta, or other vegetables, such as string beans or spinach.

Jacques Pépin prepared this dish during the one-of-a-kind televised Chefs in the City 2011 event hosted by WOSU Public Media. This recipe is also in his cookbook More Fast Food My Way (page 94).

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