Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Carrot-Cream Sauce
Recipe type: Meat & Chicken
Few ingredients and easy preparation make this dish an attractive, casual main course. But the savory, smoky flavor of the chicken and the rich, creamy fresh carrot sauce make it a satisfying dinner that tastes much more complex than it is. The sauce comes together quickly once the carrots soften. Simply blend them with the half-and-half and vegetable broth for velvety texture with a touch of sweetness. You can use all cream instead of half-and-half, but keeping it lighter results in a sauce that’s just as tasty.
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 oz peeled, baby-cut carrots, each cut crosswise into 3 pieces
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about ¾-inch in the thickest part
- torn cilantro leaves and rinsed capers, for garnish
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, add the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly, stirring often, until almost tender, 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half and broth and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook slowly 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.
- Place the carrot mixture in a food processor and blend until creamy, smooth, and slightly thin. Return to the pan and keep warm over very low heat while the chicken cooks.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear 6-7 minutes undisturbed. Turn and sear until golden brown on the outside and just cooked through, about 6 minutes longer. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.
- To serve, spoon a pool of sauce on each of 4 plates and smear gently over half the plate. Place a chicken breast on top of each and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Garnish with cilantro and capers and serve right away.