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Thyme-Infused Chicken Breasts with Pomegranate Sauce

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  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 1 hr 20 min
  • Servings 4
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Looking for a hearty dinner? Enjoy this herbed chicken served with pomegranate sauce – a delightful meal.

Ingredients

Chicken

2
quarts (8 cups) cold water
1/2
cup salt (preferably non-iodized)
5
black peppercorns
4
cloves garlic, smashed
3
fresh thyme sprigs
4
bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 lb)
2
tablespoons vegetable oil

Sauce

2
tablespoons butter, softened
2
tablespoons all-purpose flour
2
tablespoons finely chopped onion
1
clove garlic, finely chopped
2
teaspoons tomato paste
1/2
cup white wine or chicken broth
1/2
cup chicken broth
1
fresh thyme sprig
1/2
cup pomegranate juice or cranberry juice
2
teaspoons packed brown sugar

Directions

  • 1 In large bowl, mix cold water, salt, peppercorns, smashed garlic and 3 thyme sprigs until salt is dissolved. Add chicken and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no more than 3 hours.
  • 2 Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • 3 In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering and hot. Add chicken, skin sides down, and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Use long-handled tongs to turn chicken and cook 5 minutes longer or until golden. Reduce heat to low.
  • 4 Simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, without turning, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when thickest part is cut to bone (170ºF). Remove chicken from skillet and place on plate, reserving drippings in skillet. Cover tightly with foil; set aside.
  • 5 Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix butter and flour with your fingers or a spoon. Knead mixture until it is a smooth paste; set aside.
  • 6 Pour out all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and stir in onion. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soft. Add finely chopped garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute longer.
  • 7 Add wine and increase heat to high. Heat to boiling, scraping any browned bits off bottom of skillet. Boil wine 5 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
  • 8 Add broth and 1 thyme sprig to skillet. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until reduced by half. Add pomegranate juice and brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring pomegranate mixture with wire whisk.
  • 9 Pinch off about half of the butter-flour paste. Drop this into boiling sauce and quickly beat in with wire whisk. Repeat with remaining paste, stirring constantly. Heat sauce to boiling and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve sauce with chicken.

Expert Tips

Why it Works: Flour Power Flour is a good sauce thickener because it contains starch. However, the thickening power of flour’s starch is released only when heated. Mixing flour with a little cold water results in a thick paste or dough. Mixing it with a lot of water and heating it to boiling gives you a smooth sauce. Why? When heated, starch (which usually looks like a little ball) breaks down into tiny pieces. These pieces now absorb great quantities of liquid and thicken your sauce.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
490
Calories from Fat
240
% Daily Value
Total Fat
26g
41%
Saturated Fat
8g
39%
Trans Fat
1/2g
Cholesterol
150mg
51%
Sodium
3840mg
160%
Potassium
440mg
13%
Total Carbohydrate
12g
4%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
7g
Protein
51g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
10%
10%
Vitamin C
8%
8%
Calcium
4%
4%
Iron
15%
15%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 7 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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