Monday, May 14, 2007

Orange-Tarragon Sauce with Cream

This is a wonderful citrus sauce for white fish fillets, and very simple to prepare. I typically use this recipe for halibut. Fish purchased from your favorite market is wonderful, but if you are on a budget I have found the seafood at Costco (or similar warehouse grocer in your area) to be very good, well priced, and suitable for large families.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 cup* fresh squeezed orange juice , from 3-4 medium oranges
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
Table salt and ground black pepper
orange wedges for serving

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking; add shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to color, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add orange juice and vinegar, increase heat to high, and bring to boil; boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 4 to 6 minutes. Add heavy cream and continue to cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Remove saucepan from burner, whisk in butter and tarragon until combined; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm; set aside, stirring once after about 1 minute.

2. To serve, stir sauce to recombine and spoon 1/2 cup over fish. Serve immediately with orange wedges, passing remaining sauce separately.

*I use 3/4 cup of orange juice to reduce the sweetness of the sauce just a bit.

Recipe courtesy Cook's Illustrated

Chicken with Sage and Prosciutto

This is a very simple recipe to prepare. It has been a favorite in my home for years. The chicken quantities are listed specifically, but can be altered easily according to the number of guests. Just figure one slice of prosciutto and 1-2 sage leaves for each piece of chicken. Enjoy!

6 chicken breast halves
6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken thighs
18 thin slices prosciutto
18 fresh sage leaves, plus sage sprigs for garnish
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the excess fat from the prosciutto, then cut the slices to the dimensions of the chicken pieces.

Carefully slide your fingers under the skin on each chicken piece, separating it from the meat but leaving it attached on one side. Place a slice of prosciutto directly on the meat and top it with a sage leaf. Carefully pull the skin back in place and press gently with your palm to secure it.

Arrange the chicken pieces in 1 or 2 shallow baking dishes or in a roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Brush the skin with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Roast until the skin is brown and crispy, and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced at the thickest part with a fork, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy Williams-Sonoma