Butter Roasted Chicken Breast


Butter Roasted Chicken Breast

For my meat eating friends — this is for you.  Rich, super simple, and magically savory, this entertainment worthy entrée has just three ingredients:  chicken breast, butter, and salt.  But it has amazingly delicious flavor.

Butter Roasted Chicken

Butter Roasted Chicken Breast, cut to show texture

The right tool is key for this one — an appropriately sized cast iron pan.  A few techniques with time and heat work alchemy on the humble chicken breast, creating all sorts of flavors for a dish ready to impress.

Cast iron pan, chicken added just after the butter melts and foams

Cast iron pan, chicken added just after the butter melts and foams

So get your cast iron pan out, and prepare to be a kitchen star!  This entrée is a rich one — the chicken alone isn’t very fatty, but you’ll be tempted to use that flavorful butter used to roast the chicken on steamed new potatoes or fresh crusty bread.  Enjoy!

Butter Roasted Chicken Breast
(serves 2 – 4)

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 TB unsalted butter
Kosher salt

At least 4 – and up to 24 – hours prior to cooking, salt the chicken.  Use a generous sprinkle of kosher salt on both sides of each chicken breast.  The salt will dissolve and deeply season the chicken, adding both flavor and moisture to the prepared dish.  Store salted chicken breast airtight in the fridge until cooking time.

45 minutes before serving time, heat your oven to 375.  Choose a cast iron pan that is just big enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer, but not too big.  If the pan is too big there is a risk that the butter will burn.

Heat the cast iron pan over medium heat until the pan is medium hot.  Add butter and swirl to melt, taking care not to let it burn or get very brown.  When the butter has melted, add the chicken breasts and gently sautée for 3 – 4 minutes.  Turn the breasts over, and sautée for 3 – 4 minutes on the other side.  Then place the pan with chicken into the hot oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow the chicken to rest in the pan for 5 minutes.  Serve warm, with the browned butter drizzled over the top.  Wonderful with steamed potatoes or crusty bread to enjoy the browned butter.

Carrot Coconut Soup

I love the sweet, delectable carrots I get in my CSA box, and had a big bunch as they are plentiful this time of the year.  I combined the carrots with fresh turmeric and creamy coconut milk for a warming, aromatic, lightly spiced soup.

Carrot Coconut Soup

Carrot Coconut Soup

I enhanced the natural sweetness and aromatic qualities of carrot and turmeric with a hefty dose of black pepper, rounding out the flavor with a quality curry blend and balancing the soup’s flavor with fresh lime juice.

Fresh turmeric and whole black pepper

Fresh turmeric and whole black pepper

Topped with fresh cilantro for a green burst, this is a savory and tasty soup.  It’s also vegan – so is a fabulous for all eaters.  Enjoy!

Carrot Coconut Soup

1 1/2 LB carrots, rinsed and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
3 TB oil
1 can coconut milk
2 small rhizomes of fresh turmeric, diced (or 1 TB ground dried)
sea salt
2 tsp. quality curry blend, spiced to your liking
1 lime, juiced
black pepper, freshly ground, 1/2 to 1 tsp

Heat large sauce pan over high flame until medium hot.  Add oil and onions.  Sauté for 4 minutes, then add the carrots and fresh turmeric, then add enough water to not quite cover the carrots.  Cover, bring to a simmer, and allow to simmer, covered, until the carrots are quite tender.

Add the coconut mill, salt, curry blend, and black pepper.  Blend in a blender or use an immersion blender to create a smooth, even texture in the soup.  Adjust salt, then add the juice of 1/2 to 1 lime — enough just to add balance and brightness to the soup.  Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Spiced Walnut Cookies

Deeply scented cookies have a crispy/chewy texture and the rich crunch of walnuts.

(I’ve been on a spice tear after reading DUNE).  They are fast and easy to make and your kitchen will smell wonderful as they bake.  The key is the spice mixture:  heavy on cinnamon with three others to lend intrigue:  cayenne, allspice, and nutmeg.

A hint for best flavor is to make sure your spices are fresh. I use whole nutmeg and grind just before using with a nutmeg grinder.  Enjoy!

Spiced Walnut Cookies

1 1/2 cups (11 oz) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) white sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 large eggs, room temp
2 1/3 cups (12 oz) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 TB ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayennne pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups walnuts, coarse chop

Preheat oven to 375.  Cream butter and sugars until combined. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Combine dry ingredients, then add to butter mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Fold in walnuts. Place balls of dough (2 – 3 TB per scoop) at least 2 inches apart on your baking sheet. If desired, top each ball of dough with additional walnuts before baking.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the outer edges are lightly browned but the center is still a little soft. Transfer to cooling rack to cool.