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Poached Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Basil Salsa Verde
Poached Chicken Breasts with Lemon-Basil Salsa Verde Photo courtesy of Jake Gartland

We’ve suffered through enough boring chicken dinners to know that the lean protein needs something spectacular to really wow us. And thanks to chef Justin Schwartz of New York City’s new Mulberry & Vine, we’ve discovered that “something” should be a standout sauce. At the health-focused restaurant, Schwartz partners poached chicken breasts with an Italian-inspired lemon-basil salsa verde. Serve the herby green sauce and tender chicken with a side of roasted asparagus or steamed greens for a chicken dinner that’s not only healthful but also delicious.

Makes 4 main-course servings (plus about cup salsa verde)

Poached Chicken Breasts

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1 lemon, cut into ¼-inch slices

½ yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

¼ cup red wine vinegar

 

Lemon-Basil Salsa Verde

1 slice whole-wheat sandwich bread, lightly toasted

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons capers

2 anchovy fillets

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt

1. Make the chicken: In a large skillet, combine the chicken with the lemon slices, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, red-pepper flakes and red wine vinegar. Add enough water to the skillet to cover the chicken breasts and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer the chicken until it is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

2. Make the salsa verde: Meanwhile, remove the crust from the bread and cut the bread into ½-inch cubes. (You should have about ¾ cups.) In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cubed bread with the olive oil and lemon juice; pulse until smooth. Add the basil, parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped and nearly smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Season the salsa verde to taste with additional salt and transfer it to a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Remove the chicken from the skillet and cool slightly. (Discard the water and aromatics.) Cut the chicken breasts into thin slices and serve immediately with the salsa verde spooned over the top or passed on the side.

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