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Poached Chicken Breasts with Tahina Dressing

By September 27, 2012January 7th, 2023Cuisine

Grilling Season is over…let poaching season begin!

Citrus-Poached-Chicken-with-Tahini-Dressing_021

The Magic of Poached Chicken Breasts

Whatever would we do without boneless skinless chicken breasts?  They are an excellent source of lean protein, are low in calories and score admirably on the all-important low glycemic index.   Versatile, functional, and readily available, they also lend themselves to all manner of preparation and provide the perfect base for a wide range of sauces.    They are a busy cook’s best friend, but let’s face it, they can be bland unless you take some time to coax some flavor out of them.    Because chicken breasts are so versatile, you can, as Julie Andrews would say, “sing a million different tunes, by mixing them up!”   When I’m out of ideas, I turn to one of my favorite volumes of food porn:  “The Flavor Bible,” which is also available on Kindle.  In it, authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg provide suitable flavor pairings for every conceivable food group.  Whether you are rooting around the refrigerator to club together a Monday supper, or experimenting with a complicated dish, The Flavor Bible provides expert guidance and liberating ideas!

The Importance of Salting:

Salt gets a bum rap these days, largely because of its association with heart disease.  While you should watch your general salt intake, you shouldn’t ignore its use in food preparation.  Salting meat before you cook it is a great way to  start breaking down the proteins, which improves the meat in terms of flavor and texture.  Begin by scoring the breasts lightly and salting them liberally with coarse sea salt and allowing the chicken to come to room temperature — in this way, the chicken is tenderized and ready for grilling, baking, or poaching.

Poaching Chicken Breasts:

Poaching chicken breasts in citrus and wine provides infuses fresh flavors into the chicken breasts in a method that is quick and easy, and can be done at the last minute.  Do a large batch of these at the beginning of the week and keep them handy for a quick lunch or last minute dinner.  Poaching is great for entertaining you can everything ready to go and then quickly execute in less than ten minutes before you are ready to eat.

Tahina Dressing:

Poached chicken breasts really come into their own with a flavorful sauce, and this one, first introduced to me by my good friend Skippy, fuses the unique flavors of tahina, ginger, and lime with a hint of fresh coriander and mint.  I keep a jar of this in the fridge along with my poached chicken.  Add some fresh spinach, scallions and tomatoes and it’s a meal!

Ingredients

 

Chicken

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 60 ml (1/4-cup) coarse sea salt
  • 250 ml (1 cup) fresh citrus juice (combination of grapefruit, orange, lime)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbl) orange zest
  • 1 bunch tarragon, parsley, or dill (roughly chopped)
  • 175 ml (3/4-cup)white wine

Dressing

  • 75 ml (1/3-cup) tahina paste
  • 75 ml plain yogurt
  • (2 tsp) 10 ml lime zest
  • (2 Tbl) 60 ml whole coriander seeds (crushed )
  • (1/3 cup) 75 ml fresh cilantro (coriander) and mint (roughly chopped)
  • (1/4 cup) 60 ml olive oil
  • (1 Tbl) 30 ml sumac
  • 1 dash tabasco
  • (1/2 cup) 125 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 knob fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and diced)
  • (1/2 tsp) 2 ml dried mustard

Directions

Poach the Chicken

1.

Trim the boneless skinless chicken breasts: remove the fatty edges and any gristle. Score the top side of the chicken breasts lightly with a small sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern.

2.

Lay the chicken breasts in a non-reactive shallow baking dish or braiser, scored side up. Rub the salt into scored side of the chicken breasts. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside. Let the chicken come to room temperature (at least 45 minutes) then rinse each breast in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

3.

Zest and juice the orange and any other citrus fruit you plan to use. Mix with the chopped herbs and white wine.

4.

Pour the mixture into a deep-sided skillet and bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Lay each breast, score side down in the simmering liquid. Cover and cook for 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for another 2 minutes. Test for doneness by pressing the scored side lightly with a spoon or your finger. When it is done, the chicken breast feel slightly elastic. Do not overcook.

Tahina Dressing

5.

Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil and the chopped cilantro in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth.

6.

Turn on the food processor and slowly add the olive oil drop by drop to the mixture, allowing it to thicken. When you have added all of the oil, pulse 3 more times.

7.

Spoon the dressing over the poached chicken and garnish with the chopped cilantro and mint.

 

 

Readers,

What are your favorite ways to enjoy chicken breasts?  Share them below, won’t you, by hitting the comment button sharing with other cooks!  Have you tried this recipe?   What do you think?

Try similar chicken recipes:

Roasting Chicken the (Up)right way!Mediterranean Chicken DrumsticksThe Exact Science of Chicken Soup

Enhanced by Zemanta

Grilling Season is over…let poaching season begin!

Citrus-Poached-Chicken-with-Tahini-Dressing_021

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts:

Boneless-Skinless-Chicken-Breasts

Whatever would we do without boneless skinless chicken breasts?  They are an excellent source of lean protein, are low in calories and score admirably on the all-important low glycemic index.   Versatile, functional, and readily available, they also lend themselves to all manner of preparation and provide the perfect base for a wide range of sauces.    They are a busy cook’s best friend, but let’s face it, they can be bland unless you take some time to coax some flavor out of them.    Because chicken breasts are so versatile, you can, as Julie Andrews would say, “sing a million different tunes, by mixing them up!”   When I’m out of ideas, I turn to one of my favorite volumes of food porn:  “The Flavor Bible,” which is also available on Kindle.  In it, authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg provide suitable flavor pairings for every conceivable food group.  Whether you are rooting around the refrigerator to club together a Monday supper, or experimenting with a complicated dish, The Flavor Bible provides expert guidance and liberating ideas!

The Importance of Salting:

Salt gets a bum rap these days, largely because of its association with heart disease.  While you should watch your general salt intake, you shouldn’t ignore its use in food preparation.  Salting meat before you cook it is a great way to  start breaking down the proteins, which improves the meat in terms of flavor and texture.  Begin by scoring the breasts lightly and salting them liberally with coarse sea salt and allowing the chicken to come to room temperature — in this way, the chicken is tenderized and ready for grilling, baking, or poaching.

Poaching Chicken Breasts:

Poaching chicken breasts in citrus and wine provides infuses fresh flavors into the chicken breasts in a method that is quick and easy, and can be done at the last minute.  Do a large batch of these at the beginning of the week and keep them handy for a quick lunch or last minute dinner.  Poaching is great for entertaining you can everything ready to go and then quickly execute in less than ten minutes before you are ready to eat.

Tahina Dressing:

Poached chicken breasts really come into their own with a flavorful sauce, and this one, first introduced to me by my good friend Skippy, fuses the unique flavors of tahina, ginger, and lime with a hint of fresh coriander and mint.  I keep a jar of this in the fridge along with my poached chicken.  Add some fresh spinach, scallions and tomatoes and it’s a meal!

Where to buy Tahina in Moscow:

What is tahina

Tahina is available in most grocery stores in Moscow

 

Tahina or tahini is sesame paste, and is one of the operative ingredients in hummus.   Tahina is available at most grocery stores in Moscow.  You will find it with the hummus and babaganouche in the refrigerated section.  This version is creamier than tahina sold in other countries, but it gets the job done.

Ingredients

 

Chicken

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 60 ml (1/4-cup) coarse sea salt
  • 250 ml (1 cup) fresh citrus juice (combination of grapefruit, orange, lime)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbl) orange zest
  • 1 bunch tarragon, parsley, or dill (roughly chopped)
  • 175 ml (3/4-cup)white wine

Dressing

  • 75 ml (1/3-cup) tahina paste
  • 75 ml plain yogurt
  • (2 tsp) 10 ml lime zest
  • (2 Tbl) 60 ml whole coriander seeds (crushed )
  • (1/3 cup) 75 ml fresh cilantro (coriander) and mint (roughly chopped)
  • (1/4 cup) 60 ml olive oil
  • (1 Tbl) 30 ml sumac
  • 1 dash tabasco
  • (1/2 cup) 125 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 knob fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and diced)
  • (1/2 tsp) 2 ml dried mustard

Directions

Poach the Chicken

1.

Trim the boneless skinless chicken breasts: remove the fatty edges and any gristle. Score the top side of the chicken breasts lightly with a small sharp knife, making a cross-hatch pattern.

2.

Lay the chicken breasts in a non-reactive shallow baking dish or braiser, scored side up. Rub the salt into scored side of the chicken breasts. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside. Let the chicken come to room temperature (at least 45 minutes) then rinse each breast in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

3.

Zest and juice the orange and any other citrus fruit you plan to use. Mix with the chopped herbs and white wine.

4.

Pour the mixture into a deep-sided skillet and bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Lay each breast, score side down in the simmering liquid. Cover and cook for 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for another 2 minutes. Test for doneness by pressing the scored side lightly with a spoon or your finger. When it is done, the chicken breast feel slightly elastic. Do not overcook.

Tahina Dressing

5.

Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil and the chopped cilantro in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth.

6.

Turn on the food processor and slowly add the olive oil drop by drop to the mixture, allowing it to thicken. When you have added all of the oil, pulse 3 more times.

7.

Spoon the dressing over the poached chicken and garnish with the chopped cilantro and mint.

 

 

Readers,

What are your favorite ways to enjoy chicken breasts?  Share them below, won’t you, by hitting the comment button sharing with other cooks!  Have you tried this recipe?   What do you think?

Try similar chicken recipes from The Moscovore:

Roasting Chicken the (Up)right way!Mediterranean Chicken DrumsticksThe Exact Science of Chicken Soup

Try other chicken recipes from around the web:

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Comments

  • maggie says:

    HI Jennifer, I am going to try poaching chicken. Never did it before…. but i am poaching eggs this weekend!!! thank you for being a great inspiration. that is one thing we all need in Moscow, INSPIRATION!!!!

  • Fairin Woods says:

    Hi Jennifer, So fun to visit you here, at your blog! You just introduced me to The Flavor Bible. I am in love instantly. Thank you

  • Great inspiration there. I use the less-creamier tahina I always order from Minsk, they work well. 🙂 Also did this with thigh meat (deboned, of course), and they come out fine.

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