We adore Chef Elana’s version of her mother’s “holiday chicken.” With its simple techniques and elegant presentation, it has the power to make dinnertime feel like a holiday treat. Here, golden-skinned chicken is braised in a delectable pan sauce of white wine, orange juice, and brown sugar, studded with jewel-like apricots and currants. Roasted potatoes and spinach complement all the savory-sweet goodness.
You can find the recipe and instructions below, but if you’re looking for a live step-by-step guide, we’ve got that too. Check out our Facebook Live right here (which we filmed together with AOL Lifestyle), and cook alongside Head Chef Elana!
3 ounces baby spinach
12 ounces fingerling potatoes
8 dried apricots
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ cup white wine
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons currants
2 packets unsalted butter
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
10″ medium high-sided ovenproof pan
Arrange your potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet, and space them apart as much as possible—doing so will help them roast instead of steam.
Deglazing is a technique in which adding liquid, like wine and orange juice, to the pan after cooking protein loosens any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Scrape them up into your sauce—they are full of flavor.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Rinse spinach. Rinse potatoes and halve lengthwise. Halve orange. Quarter apricots. Peel shallot and thinly slice into rings. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, white wine, juice of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon olive oil, .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired to make sauce. Set aside until Step 4.
On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, then arrange cut-side down in a single layer (see Recipe Tip). Roast until golden and tender, about 18 minutes. Set aside.
While potatoes roast, pat chicken dry with paper towel and season all over with .5 teaspoon salt. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium high-sided ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken skin-side down and sear until skin begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown on opposite side, about 1 minute more. Transfer chicken to a plate, skin-side up, and set aside. Reduce heat under pan to medium.
Add shallot to pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, to soften, 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add half of sauce, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan (see Recipe Tip). Scatter currants and apricots around in pan, then cover with remaining sauce. Return chicken to pan skin-side up, nestling into sauce. Transfer pan to oven and roast (with potatoes) until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 10-12 minutes.
Once potatoes are golden, add spinach and 1 teaspoon olive oil to baking sheet, toss to combine with potatoes, then spread vegetables in an even layer. Return to oven and continue roasting until spinach is wilted, 2 minutes more. Once chicken is cooked through, using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer chicken to serving plates, leaving sauce behind in pan. Stir butter into pan to melt until sauce is silky.
Divide roasted potatoes and spinach between serving plates with chicken. Spoon sauce, currants, and apricots over chicken, then dig in!