Chicken Breasts With Miso-Garlic Sauce
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are known for becoming dry, but brining them before cooking helps retain moisture. The chicken is soaked in cold, salted water to which a small amount of whey or yogurt is added. (The lactic acid and phosphates in the dairy help with moisture retention.) However, the star of this recipe isn’t the chicken: It’s the sauce, made from miso, plenty of garlic and a good amount of lemon and leftover pan juices. Just take care when salting it: Miso is salty by nature, and lemon juice tends to heighten its brininess. Round out the meal by pairing it with white rice, or a vibrant salad.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1tablespoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- 2tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt or whey
- 4cups cold water
- 4boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- ¼cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted, or olive oil
- 2tablespoons onion powder
- 1tablespoon garlic powder
- 2teaspoons chipotle powder
- 1teaspoon black pepper
- ¼cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cubed
- 4garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1tablespoon lemon zest
- ½teaspoon black pepper
- 1tablespoon red miso
- 2tablespoons lemon juice
- 2tablespoons minced scallions or chives
Step 1Heat oven to 500 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch high-heat baking dish with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, stir 1 tablespoon salt and the yogurt into 4 cups cold water. (The brine helps the chicken retain its moisture, for juicier breasts.) Add the chicken and let sit for 15 minutes.
Step 2In a small bowl, mix together butter, onion powder, garlic and chipotle powders, and black pepper until they form a paste.
Step 3After 15 minutes, drain the breasts, discarding liquid. Pat dry, transfer to the baking dish, and spread the paste all over the chicken.
Step 4Roast until the top is golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 30 minutes. If chicken is darkening too quickly, tent loosely with foil. Let the chicken cool, covered, for 5 minutes. Reserve the pan juices.
Step 5About 10 minutes before the chicken is done, prepare the miso-garlic sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in garlic, lemon zest, black pepper and miso. Return to the heat and add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water, then mix until a velvety sauce forms. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved pan juices from the chicken. Taste and season with salt as needed.
Step 6To serve, either slice the chicken breasts across the grain or keep them whole. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the minced scallions or chives. Serve immediately.