Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

It’s maple syrup time!  Finally, a harbinger of spring and those of us on the East Coast of Canada need something sweet after the wicked winter we have just come through!

Today, I am featuring a product that is new to me and it comes from Lake Paul in Nova Scotia – PURE™ Infused Maple Syrup.  We are all familiar with the traditional maple syrup but PURE™ Infused takes it up a notch by infusing other flavours into the syrup, making it more versatile for culinary use.  They produce five unique flavors:  Vanilla, Cinnamon and Star Anise; Lavender & Chai; Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Cloves; Chipotle and Lemongrass; and Maple Gastrique (Maple Syrup, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar) which is the flavour I am using in my recipe today.

I like this product.  It has a nice blend of flavours and the sweetness of the maple syrup balances well with the tartness of the cider vinegar and spiciness of the ginger.  This lends a depth and complexity of flavour to my recipe.   For more information on PURE™ Infused and their products, visit their website.

My Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts recipe is easy to make. I like chicken but, to be frank, it can be kind of bland if you don’t add some flavour to it so I am combining maple, orange, and ginger in this stovetop creation.

But first, some notes about this recipe.  I use liquid chicken bouillon for chicken stock in the recipe.  Traditionally, the ratio is 2 teaspoons of the bouillon concentrate to 1 cup of water; however, I find deeper  flavour if I use 3 teaspoons of the concentrate per cup of water.    When making the thickener for the sauce, combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold chicken stock and whisk it well to ensure it is smooth.  It is very important that the cold mixture be “tempered” by adding some hot liquid – about 1 tablespoon or so — before pouring it into the hot mixture in the frying pan as, otherwise, it will be lumpy.

I am a big fan of digital instant read meat thermometers for ensuring chicken is properly cooked.  The chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

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Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (apx. 2 lbs)
salt and pepper
olive oil

1½ tsp garlic, minced
⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp fennel, finely chopped
⅓ cup orange juice
½ tbsp grated orange rind
1¼ cups chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup)
½ cup PURE™ Maple Gastrique (Maple Syrup, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 tsp ground ginger
⅓ cup orange marmalade
2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock)

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in large frying pan. Add the chicken breasts and quickly brown 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once.

Transfer chicken to heat-proof plate and tent with tin foil to keep chicken warm.

Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté the garlic, onion, and fennel, just until onion is transparent, adding more olive oil if necessary.

page 1 - Onions garlic and fennel

In bowl or large measuring cup, combine the orange juice, orange rind, 1 cup of chicken stock, maple syrup, ginger, and marmalade.

Pour sauce ingredients into frying pan.

Over medium heat, heat the mixture to boiling, then add the chicken breasts, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook chicken slowly for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning and basting chicken with the sauce 2-3 times.

In small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock. Add apx. 1 tbsp of the hot liquid to the cornstarch mixture to temper it and whisk well until mixture is smooth. Stir into hot mixture.

Continue cooking chicken, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

Serving suggestion: Serve over a bed of hot steamed rice with a side of your favourite vegetable.

Yield: 4 servings


Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts
My Island Bistro Kitchen:
4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (apx. 2 lbs)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fennel, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • ½ tbsp grated orange rind
  • 1¼ cups chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup PURE™ Maple Gastrique
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ⅓ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock)
Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts.
  2. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in large frying pan.
  3. Add the chicken breasts and quickly brown 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once.
  4. Transfer chicken breasts to heat-proof plate and tent with tin foil to keep chicken warm.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté the garlic, onion, and fennel, just until onion is transparent, adding more olive oil if necessary.
  6. In bowl or large measuring cup, combine the orange juice, orange rind, 1 cup of chicken stock, maple syrup, ginger, and marmalade. Pour into frying pan.
  7. Over medium heat, heat sauce to boiling, then add the chicken breasts, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
  8. Cook chicken slowly for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning and basting chicken with the sauce 2-3 times.
  9. In small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock. Add apx. 1 tbsp of the hot liquid to the cornstarch mixture and whisk well until mixture is smooth. Stir into hot mixture.
  10. Continue cooking chicken, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

 

Disclosure:  The Maple Gastrique used in this recipe was provided to me, free of charge, from  PURE™ Infused for the purposes of sampling it and creating a recipe with the syrup.  The recipe for Maple Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts in this posting is an original recipe developed by me in my home kitchen.

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