By Alaina Sullivan
Take away the skin and bones of a chicken breast and you’ve got a protein that is notoriously prone to becoming dry and flavorless. A quick braise can remedy that, especially when you do it with wine.
A wine braise renders chicken cutlets moist, tender and inebriated with a unique bright flavor. Riesling does the job here: It’s sweet and floral, and pairs well with fresh lavender, which you can use in both sweet and savory dishes. Here crushed lavender buds swim with twigs of thyme in the braising liquid, giving the chicken a rustic, woody flavor. Recipe from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express.
Lavender-Thyme Braised Chicken
Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, then sear them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on both sides until brown, about four minutes total; set aside. Add a tablespoon more of olive oil or butter to the pan, along with some minced garlic, a tablespoon of crushed lavender flowers (or a tablespoon of finely minced fresh rosemary), and a teaspoon of fresh thyme; cook for about a minute. Add a half cup (or more) of Riesling and deglaze the pan. Add the chicken, cover; and continue cooking until it’s done, another four minutes or so. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.