Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lemon-Honey Chicken Breasts

Several years ago, I had a recipe for chicken breasts in a white wine sauce with lemon and tarragon. It was a fantastic recipe and I made it fairly often. Then, somehow, I lost the recipe. When I was casting about for a main course that included honey for our Valentine’s Day dinner, I came across a recipe for lemon-honey chicken breasts on the website of the National Honey Board. It was vaguely reminiscent of my long-lost chicken tarragon recipe, and I decided to try to make it more so.

I substituted dried tarragon for the rosemary. Instead of broiling, which is messy, I decided to try baking the chicken, since it’s in a baking dish already. I knew from experience that chicken breasts require about an hour in the oven. After marinating and before putting the chicken in the oven, I poured off the marinade into a small saucepan and heated it through before pouring it onto the baked chicken.

After an hour at 350, the chicken was done, but not brown. I probably should have browned it on top of the stove first. The marinade didn’t cook down very much in the few minutes I heated it, so was still thin. I personally prefer thicker sauces. The addition of some flour or cornstarch would have helped. Next time, I think I’ll try browning the chicken, then adding the sauce and simmering it all on top of the stove for awhile. Whether there’s any advantage to marinating the chicken with this approach, I’m not sure.

Do hang onto the marinade, however you prepare this, because it tastes fantastic. This is a simple recipe that gives great results.

Yum! This one's a keeper!

Lemon-Honey Chicken Breasts
(source: National Honey Board,

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 (3-1/2 to 4 oz. each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients (except chicken) and mix well. Marinate chicken in honey-lemon mixture 1 hour in shallow baking dish. Broil chicken 5 minutes, brush with pan drippings, turn and broil 5 minutes longer or until juices run clear. If desired, bring marinade to a boil; simmer 2 minutes. Strain hot marinade over chicken. Makes 4 servings.

Note: the Honey Board states that honey should not be fed to infants under one year of age.

Recycle: honey jar, oil bottle

Compost: rosemary stems

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