Coriander and Black Pepper Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Glaze
The well-loved pairing of coriander and cumin creates an irresistible crust on chicken breasts, which finish in a tangy, sticky balsamic glaze. The fruity heat of black pepper balances the sweetness of the pan sauce.
Chicken breasts become intensely flavorful and juicy with my easy technique: start spice-rubbed chicken in a cold pan. Not only does the slow rise in heat prevent the spices from burning, it also keeps the chicken from sticking to the pan. From a technical standpoint, it’s great because you get a sous vide effect, with the meat cooking through evenly first while retaining its juice and developing a seared crust at the end. The chicken – along with its instant pan sauce – takes well to a range of flavors, from anise to green peppercorns.
Make ahead for Shabbat or any festive meal – you can refrigerate the cooked chicken for up to 5 days.
For the main spice blend
- Finely grind the coriander, peppercorns, and cumin together and immediately mix with the ginger. Or, mix together 2 teaspoons pre-ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon pre-ground black pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon pre-ground cumin with the ginger.
For the chicken
- Sprinkle the spice blend all over the chicken to evenly coat. You can cook them right away or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
- Season the spiced chicken with salt. Generously coat a large skillet or sauté pan with oil (2 to 3 tablespoons). Put the chicken in the pan in a single layer, smooth-side down, spacing the breasts apart, and set over medium heat. Cook nice and slow until the bottoms are golden, about 7 minutes. Using a spatula or tongs, carefully flip each piece.
- Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 120°F, about 7 minutes. Flip again, reduce the heat to low, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F, about 6 minutes more.
- Drizzle the vinegar all around the chicken. It should bubble and spatter immediately. Continuously turn the chicken to glaze it in the reducing vinegar until lightly coated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand for a few minutes, drizzle the pan glaze over the chicken, and serve.
For Leftovers: Chicken Salad with Black Beans and Cilantro
Traditional American-style chicken salad gets a twist with the addition of black beans and cilantro. Eat this on its own or wrap it in tortillas, sandwich it between bread, or spoon it into lettuce cups.
- Follow the master chicken recipe above. When cool enough to handle, dice enough chicken (1 to 2 breasts) to yield 1 cup meat (save the rest for another use). Refrigerate until cold, then mix with 1 (14- to-15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black beans, 1/4 cup mayonnaise; 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; and 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Serves 2 to 4.
Reprinted with permission from Mastering Spice: Recipes and Techniques to Transform Your Everyday Cooking: A Cookbook by Lior Lev Sercarz.