This is a fantastically simple, incredibly forgiving, and delicious dish from Jacques Pépin. I had never cooked with juniper berries and after tasting this dish I became mesmerized by their flavor. It’s an intangible spice that is beautifully complemented by yogurt-mashed potatoes.
Spicy Chicken Breasts
Courtesy of Essential Pépin
½ tsp juniper berries
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
1½ tbsp olive oil
Combine the juniper berries, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds in a small skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder or coffee grinder, add the salt, and process for 20 to 30 seconds, until finely ground.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the spice mixture and rub it gently into the meat. Brush the breasts on both sides with the olive oil. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 12 hours ahead. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.)
Preheat the oven to 180˚.
Heat a very large nonstick skillet until it is hot. Add the chicken breasts and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook for 3 minutes on the other side.
Arrange the breasts on an ovenproof platter and place them in the oven for at least 10 minutes to finish cooking. (The chicken can be kept warm in the oven for up to 45 minutes.)
For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.