Lunchbreak: One-Pot Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables

Midday News

Dan Zuccarello, Executive Food Editor, America’s Test Kitchen

Book: Cook for Your Gut Health


One-Pot Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables

Serves 4

Why This Recipe Works There’s no need to reserve braising for tough, collagen-rich cuts of meat in rich sauces. It’s a snap to create a delicate dish featuring chicken breasts in an aromatic broth surrounded by the most vibrant of vegetables. The moist heat technique cooks our lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts and spring vegetables gently and evenly. We start by browning just one side of the chicken breasts in a Dutch oven before removing them from the pot. We then cook fresh thyme and red pepper flakes in garlic oil to create a ­fragrant cooking medium for the vegetables. Radishes enter the pot with chunks of red potatoes and water, as these heartier vegetables need a head start. Next, we place the chicken on top of these vegetables, cover the pot, and let the contents simmer. After removing the chicken, we add verdant asparagus, some frozen peas, and lemon and orange zests and cook the mixture until tender. Look for asparagus that is approximately 1/2 inch thick at base.

        4       (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

        1       teaspoon table salt, divided

        1/8     teaspoon pepper

        3       tablespoons garlic oil (see page 20)

        3       sprigs fresh thyme

               Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

        12      ounces red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

        8       radishes, trimmed and halved if small or quartered lengthwise if large

        11/4   cups water

        11/2   pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths

        2       cups frozen peas

        2       teaspoons grated lemon zest

        2       teaspoons grated orange zest

        1       tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound to uniform thickness as needed. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken skinned side down and cook until browned on 1 side, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate browned side up.

2 Add thyme sprigs, pepper flakes, if using, and 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty pot and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in potatoes, radishes, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Place chicken browned side up on top of potato mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes.

3 Transfer chicken to plate, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while finishing vegetables. Stir asparagus, peas, lemon zest, orange zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into potato mixture. Cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove from heat. 4 Discard thyme sprigs. Slice chicken on bias 1/2 inch thick. Place chicken browned side up on top of vegetables in pot, adding any accumulated chicken juices. Sprinkle with tarragon and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve.

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