Chef Chris Prosperi shares his favorite recipe for chicken with pea and bacon pan sauce.
- 4 boneless chicken breast pieces, each weighing about 4 to 5 ounces each, and each piece cut in half
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ¼ cup flour for dredging
- 1-½ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup chopped bacon
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 1 cup low sodium canned chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) green peas
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Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until your hand, held about 3 inches above the pan, is warmed by the radiant heat of the empty pan.
Pour in 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and rotate to cover the surface.
Use your senses with sautéing or pan frying this chicken recipe. Look at the oil before you add the chicken. The oil should shimmer across the pan with light wisps of smoke. Make the oil doesn't start smoking in earnest as that may means the oil is about to catch fire.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down a bit. You may want to keep a cover handy in case the oil does ignite or to prevent a flare up from happening.
When you put the chicken in the pan, listen for an even sizzling. If the noise is too harsh or too rapid, slide the pan off the heat and allow it too cool a bit. Likewise, if the chicken barely makes any noise, do turn the heat up. Keep adjusting the heat until you reach the right sizzle for sautéing.
Working quickly, dredge the chicken pieces in flour and place in the hot oil. Sauté for three minutes on each side or until the pieces turn a reddish brown. Be careful not to crowd the pan or the pieces will steam instead of browning. Since the meat cooks so quickly, you can fry in batches. When you get the right color, turn the chicken over, and do the same for the other side.
Remove the browned chicken pieces to a platter and keep warm.
Place the chopped onions and bacon into the pan and brown for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the sherry and chicken stock, stir, and return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the cream, then cook until the liquid is almost evaporated. Stir lightly to ensure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes, then add the peas. Heat until warm. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked prior to serving. Enjoy with rice or potatoes.
This recipe makes four to six servings.