Poached Orange Chicken with Mint Sauce

Serves 6-8


6-7 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (though you may use any type of chicken pieces, I find that boneless/skinless breasts work best)
1/2 tube frozen orange juice concentrate*
1 orange, sliced into thin rounds, saving ends and mistakes
1 bunch fresh mint
1 chipotle in adobo sauce (the leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for 2 weeks)
1T adobo sauce
1/3c white wine
1-1 1/3c heavy cream
1T honey
2T rice or other mild vinegar

Mince about 3/4-1c mint and set aside along with a few leaves for garnish.

Fill a large stock pot or dutch oven with enough water to cover chicken pieces.  Add 1/2 tube orange juice concentrate, orange ends (peels too), remaining mint, chipotle, adobo sauce, and salt/pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and add chicken carefully.  Poach about 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is creamy white and cooked through.  Leave in pot and do not drain.

Remove 2/3c poaching liquid and the chipotle and place both in a saucepan (or, if dirty dishes are to be avoided, drain chicken and re-use the poaching pot).  It will quickly come to a boil again.  Add chopped mint and cook for 1 minute.  Add wine, cream, honey, salt and pepper.  Cook until the sauce thickens a bit, about ten minutes.  Add vinegar and more salt/pepper to taste, if necessary.  At this point the sauce is finished; however, if you prefer a thicker sauce, prepare a roux and add to the saucepan (mix 1T melted butter and 1T flour together in a small dish; I like to cook my flour first in a small, hot pan until it browns, which removes the flour taste and replaces it with a nice, nutty flavor; but if we’re focused on eliminating excess dishwashing opportunities for the kids, the roux doesn’t get cooked), cooking an additional few minutes.  You may serve the sauce as-is, or use a submersion blender to make it creamier and smoother.

Serve chicken atop sauce, topped with orange slices.  Pass additional sauce.

* Orange juice concentrate:  while fresh juice is usually preferable, concentrate is great for weeknight poaching.

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