Chicken Breast with Fennel, Peaches, and Roses
Chicken arrives dressed for a special occasion with peaches and rose petals, a wonderful flavor combination. The chicken is fanned over a bed of sauteed fennel, adding licorice overtones. The green, pink, and peach colors are lovely with the golden-brown chicken.
- Peaches - fennel bulbs
- Fennel Bulbs - 3
- Chicken Breasts - 4, deboned
- Clarified Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Peach Liqueur - 1/2 cup
- Thyme Sprigs - 3 fresh, stemmed and minced
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup, reduced to 1/2 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Fennel Fronds - 2, chopped
- Cold Unsalted butter - 1/2 tablespoon
- Rugosa Rose - petals from 1 rugosa rose
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in the peaches. Bring back to a boil. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Slip off the skins. Cut the peaches into thin vertical slices, discarding the pits. Set aside.
Trim the fennel bulbs and slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Bring the water back to a boil and add the fennel. Bring back to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water. Cut into 1/2-inch dice. Set side.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat four tablespoons of the clarified butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sear on all sides until browned. Put in the oven and cook 7 to 10 minutes, until the juices run clear. Set aside; keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoon of clarified butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the peaches and saute until lightly browned. Add the liqueur and stir up the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme and chicken stock. Cook until reduced by half in volume. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve: Heat the remaining tablespoon of clarified butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat and saute the fennel until hot. Stir in the chopped fronds. Make a bed of fennel on each warmed serving plate. Slice the chicken breasts diagonally and fan slices over each bed of fennel. Cut one fourth of the rose petals into narrow strips (chiffonade) and stir the strips and the cold butter into the sauce, stirring over medium heat until the sauce is warmed and shiny. Spoon sauce over the chicken breasts. Garnish the plates with the remaining rose petals.