When you add whisky to a pan of chicken breasts, it makes a fine blaze. The whisky flavor lingers in the pan juices, making a tasty sauce with lemon and honey – the classic trio in a hot toddy.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons flour
- grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 90ml/3fl oz/6 tablespoons whisky
- 2 teaspoons clear honey
- 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup chicken stock
1. Lay the chicken breasts on a chopping board and cut each diagonally into three slices. Put the slices between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin to about 3mm/1/8in thickness. Mix the flour on a plate with the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in flour and pat to discard the excess.
2. Heat half the butter and oil in a frying pan. Sauté half the chicken for 1-2 minutes until browned, then turn and brown the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Melt the remaining butter and oil and fry the rest.
3. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the whisky and heat for 1⁄2-1 minute. Set it alight, standing back from the flames, then keep cooking until they die down. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and keep it warm.
4. Stir the lemon juice and honey into the pan with the stock. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring to dissolve the juices, 1-2 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
Getting Ahead: Slice and pound the chicken up to 4 hours ahead, storing it in the refrigerator. Coat it with flour and fry it just before serving.
On the Side: The bitter tinge of sautéed radicchio makes a pleasant contrast to the honey sauce. Try other bitter leaves too, such as endive or escarole. Shred two heads of radicchio (about 450g/1lb total), discarding the white core. Dice 3-4 strips of bacon. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon until it starts to brown. Add the radicchio and some black pepper and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until the leaves wilt but are still a bit crisp. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serves 4.
In the Glass: Please try a dark beer, served at room temperature if you seek authentic Scottish taste!
From Good Food No Fuss by Anne Willan, 2003
Photo CREDIT: Simon Wheeler