Easy-Brine Chicken Breasts with Sicilian Glaze and Puttanesca-Style Panzanella

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 48 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 48 hr
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Glaze:

2 tablespoons EVOO

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped

1 Fresno or Italian cherry chile pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup Marsala wine, sherry or spicy red wine

1 blood orange or organic navel orange

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup honey

Brine:

3 to 4 tablespoons grated red onion

2 tablespoons kosher or fine sea salt

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

A few sprigs fresh rosemary

1 lemon, sliced

4 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

EVOO, for brushing

Puttanesca-Style Panzanella, for serving, recipe follows

Puttanesca-Style Panzanella:

2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 medium red onion (you can use the rest of the onion you grated for the brine, recipe above), chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

About 1/3 cup EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons anchovy paste

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

1 Fresno or Italian red cherry chile pepper, finely chopped

1 lemon

1/2 loaf peasant bread

3/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped

Directions

  1. For the glaze: Heat the EVOO in a small pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and chile pepper, and stir for a few minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced to 3 to 4 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Peel the zest from the orange in strips and add to the pot. Stir in the chicken stock and honey, then cook at a low rolling simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
  2. For the brine: Put the onion, salt, garlic, rosemary, lemons and 4 cups water in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  3. Heat a grill pan, griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Drizzle or brush the chicken with EVOO, then cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, gently warm the glaze. Baste the chicken with the glaze during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  4. Serve the chicken with the Puttanesca-Style Panzanella.
  5. Cook's Note: Make 6 pieces of chicken breast and you'll have extra meat to slice for sandwiches or chicken salad the next day.

Puttanesca-Style Panzanella:

  1. Combine the tomatoes, parsley, onions and bell peppers.
  2. Whisk together the EVOO, vinegar, anchovy paste, garlic, chile pepper and lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Pour water over the bread, then wring out the loaf and tear it into bite-size pieces. Toss the bread, vegetable mixture and olives with the dressing. Serve.
  4. Cook's Note: Wrap the bread loosely in foil overnight so it becomes stale and a little hard (if it goes too far, place it in a plastic bag overnight). If you are making the salad ahead of time, you can combine the vegetables and parsley in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate them. Pit and chop the olives and return them to their container in the refrigerator. Store the dressing in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before using.

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