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Chicken in Orange-Riesling Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Always grate the zest before juicing any citrus fruit. Grate only the colored part of the peel, avoiding the bitter white pith beneath it. A handheld rasp grater is the best tool for finely grated zest.


  • 1 large orange
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lb. total
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup Riesling or other fruity white wine
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh marjoram


Prepare the orange and chicken
Finely grate 2 tsp. zest and squeeze 1/4 cup juice from the orange. Set the zest and juice aside. Place 1 chicken breast half between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Using a meat pounder or the flat bottom of a heavy pan, lightly pound the chicken until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining chicken breast halves. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Cook the chicken
In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Working in batches if needed to avoid crowding, add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Make the sauce
In the same pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Add the shallot and sauté until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the wine, marjoram, orange juice and zest. Cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is bubbly and slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pan and heat through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a platter, spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Simple Suppers, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2007).