05 December 2007

Chicken with Basil-Riesling Cream Sauce

Yesterday, here in Maryland, the winds were blowing like I've rarely seen. It was definitely the day for food that warms you up and makes the house smell wonderful. I'm happy to say that this chicken absolutely fits the bill. I only wish that I had had the foresight to make extra so that we would have leftovers to eat tonight after the snow!

I served them alongside this potato pancake, which I am very sorry to say that I can't wholeheartedly recommend. Neither my boyfriend nor I were particularly impressed, though I must admit that we had very high expectations.

Chicken with Basil-Riesling Cream Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup Riesling, or other sweet white wine
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until soft and the edges are beginning to brown. Add the butter and the garlic and reduce the heat to medium.
3. Once the butter is melted, deglaze the pan with the wine. Cook until reduced by about half, then stir in the flour thoroughly.
4. Add the chicken stock and the cream, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and season to taste. Slide the chicken back into the pan and simmer until cooked through, 15-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.

- As always, the wine can be substituted for anything that you have on hand. I chose the Riesling to give a sweet, fruity taste to the sauce.
- If you have boneless, skinless chicken breasts or even bone-in skin-on chicken pieces, you could absolutely use them here. The cooking time will probably need to be reduced in either case.
- You could substitute fresh basil for the dried, but use at least twice as much and add it when you add the chicken back to the sauce.
- If the sauce is too thick after the chicken is finished cooking, it can be thinned with chicken stock, water, or even milk.
- This would also be delicious with a bit of parmesan or asiago stirred into the sauce or on top of the chicken.

Today, I will finish reading.... The History of Love: A Novel, by Nicole Krauss.

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