Spicy Glazed Chicken Breasts
This one-skillet chicken has a spicy, pleasantly tart and punchy glaze that’s built on frying a little tomato paste in garlic- and almond-infused oil, then deglazing with lemon juice. It tastes like you sun-dried lots of tomatoes for weeks. (But you don’t need to do that.) The final flourish is the crunchy fried almonds and garlic. You could skip them, but they add a special touch that belies how fast the dish comes together. Besides chicken, the dish also can be made with any other ingredient that browns well, like tofu or even broccoli.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1½ to 2 pounds total)
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼cup sliced almonds
- 3garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2tablespoons tomato paste (preferably double concentrate)
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1tablespoon lemon juice
Step 1Pat chicken dry and pound to an even ½-inch thickness with a heavy skillet or meat pounder.
Step 2In a large (12-inch) skillet, combine the oil, almonds and garlic. Season with salt, then set over high heat. Once the mixture starts to sizzle, reduce heat to medium and cook, swirling occasionally, until light golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the almonds and garlic to a paper towel-lined plate. (Keep the oil in the skillet.)
Step 3Set the skillet over medium-high. Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt, then add to the skillet and cook until browned underneath and opaque halfway up the sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and transfer the chicken to a plate, seared side up.
Step 4With the skillet still over low heat, add the tomato paste and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up browned bits, until the paste is a shade darker and starts to stick to the skillet, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the chicken, as well as any accumulated juices, seared side up to the skillet, cover, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. (The moisture from the chicken will keep the tomato paste from burning, but if you’re concerned, add a teaspoon of water as a preventative measure.)
Step 5Uncover, add the lemon juice, then flip and drag the chicken through the tomato-lemon glaze to coat all sides. Transfer to plates, spoon over any remaining glaze and sprinkle with the fried almonds and garlic.