Both the entrée, Sear-Roasted Chicken with Orange-Tarragon Sauce, and the side dish, Millet and Chickpea Salad, knocked it out of the park, both in flavor and ease of preparation. A fragrant sauce boosts the flavor of chicken breast in this single-skillet dish. And accompanied by a Millet and Chickpea Salad, the Mediterranean-inflected grain salad is quick enough to make on a weeknight, thanks to quick-cooking millet.
Because both dishes contained a few of the same ingredients, they were a marriage made in heaven; the flavor combinations won our hearts! It reminded us that we should include millet more often in our diets because of the numerous health benefits. These include its ability to protect the heart, prevent diabetes, improve the digestive system, lower the risk of cancer, detoxify the body, improve respiratory health, boost the immune system, increase energy levels, and improve the muscle and nerve health.
Although millet is most often associated as the main ingredient in bird seed, it is not just “for the birds.” Millet is also gluten-free, a plus for Russ who deals with a wheat insensitivity. And 1 cup of millet contains 17 grams of dietary fiber—WOW, that’s pretty impressive! Finally, millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes it a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.
And we can’t say enough of the sauce. Russ is going to add it to his online recipe bank under “sauces” because we think it would also be fabulous on pork and fish…
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (around 2 lbs.)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Cook the chicken breasts, undisturbed, until browned (they should easily release when you lift a corner), 5 to 6 minutes.
- Flip and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until just cooked through (165°F), about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and keep warm.
- Put the skillet over medium heat (be careful of the hot handle), add the shallots and 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the orange juice, broth, tarragon, honey, and zest, and cook until the mixture is reduced by half, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to serving plates. Pour any juices that collected on the plate into the sauce and serve the sauce with the chicken.
Recipe by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
Millet and Chickpea Salad
- 3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup millet
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. crumbled saffron threads
- 1 large orange, peeled and segmented, segments cut into thirds
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
- 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the millet and toast, shaking the pan, until one shade darker, about 1 minute.
- In a 1-quart saucepan, bring 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the saffron to a boil. Add the millet, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until tender, about 18 minutes.
- Scrape into a large bowl. Stir the orange segments, peppers, chickpeas, onion, the remaining 3 Tbs. oil, vinegar, honey, and oregano into the millet. Season to taste and serve.
Recipe by Mark Scarbrough, Bruce Weinstein from Fine Cooking