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December 2008

Beatrice and Woodsley
Peppered Chicken Breast, with Spiced Pumpkin Broth and Apple-Cabbage Braise

Peppered Chicken

  • 4 free-range or natural, skin-on, chicken breasts, rinsed and dried
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pink pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground Sezchuan pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine three peppers. Season chicken with salt and pepper blend. Let chicken sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400˚.

In a hot pan, heat equal parts butter and olive oil. Add chicken skin side down, and sauté. When the skin is browned, transfer the chicken to a roasting pan, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal registers 180˚. Remove the chicken, and let it rest for 7 to 10 minutes. Slice against the grain.

Pumpkin Broth

  • 1 medium pumpkin, quartered and seeded
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups water

Preheat oven to 300˚.

Toss pumpkin in a bowl with five-spice powder, pumpkin seed oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Cool pumpkin until it can be handled. Peel the skin, and cut into 1-inch pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger, and apple, sautéing until tender. Mix in pumpkin, apple juice, and water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook slowly until the pumpkin starts to break down. Check the seasoning, and add more five-spice, salt, and pepper, if desired. Puree and strain the broth; it should be thick enough to hold to a plate.

Apple, Savoy Cabbage Braise

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small savoy or napa cabbage, cored and sliced
  • 4 or 5 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, apples, raisins, and caraway, sautéing until tender. Pour in cider vinegar and Chardonnay, and stir any browned bits off the sides of the pan. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low, cooking until the liquid is almost gone.

To plate, spoon broth over the bottom of serving dish, covering about half the plate's surface. Top broth with ½ cup apple-cabbage braise, and finally the chicken. Garnish with pumpkin seed oil and fresh chives. This recipe can also be presented as small plates—serve each diner half a chicken breast.

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