Chicken Fricassee with Tomato Basil Pilaf
- 6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
- Salt and pepper
- All-purpose flour, as needed for dredging
- 1/4 cup clarified butter
- 6 fresh tomatoes, seeds removed and diced, or 1 large can (28-32 ounces) plum tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups rice
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Heat half the clarified butter (1/8 cup) in a large saute pan, and brown the chicken on both sides over medium heat, cooking about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole. Add the rest of the clarified butter (the other 1/8 cup) to the same saute pan, and add the tomatoes and chopped basil, cooking gently over low heat for 2 minutes. Then, add the white wine and reduce the liquid by half. When the liquid in the saute pan is reduced, add the vegetable stock and heavy cream and bring to a gentle boil. Let the sauce cook until mixture starts to thicken about 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce directly over the chicken in the casserole and bake covered in the oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 25 to 35 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, begin the rice. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepot and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add rice and toast lightly. Pour in the 5 cups of chicken stock and add the poultry seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes, keeping covered at all times.
When the chicken is done, transfer the pieces to a utility platter. The chicken should still have sauce on top. You can spoon some more sauce on top of the chicken if desired, but most of the remaining sauce in the casserole will be used for the rice. Finish the rice by adding the tomato/basil sauce and combining well. Spoon the rice onto center of serving plate, top with a piece of chicken and garnish with basil.
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