'Bee' My Honey Brined Chicken with Pink Peppercorn Sauce


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Honey-brined chicken breasts sauteed to a golden brown, and topped with a creamy pink peppercorn sauce. Mead wine (used in the recipe) is associated with romance. In fact, the term "honeymoon" is intertwined with the custom of drinking honey-based mead for a month (moon) after the wedding.

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  • 2 C. mead (honey wine)*, divided
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 4 Tbs. honey
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 Tbs. pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste

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In a medium-sized food storage bag, combine 1 1/2 cup of the mead, 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and honey. Crush the tarragon sprigs with your hand to release their flavor, and add them to the bag along with the chicken breasts. Seal the bag, and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning it occasionally. Remove chicken from the brine, and pat dry. (Discard brine)

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, and sauté until golden and just cooked through, about 4–5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add shallots to skillet, and sauté until they are translucent. Add the remaining mead and let reduce by half. Add the peppercorns, cream, and tomato paste. Allow the mixture to reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place chicken on a serving plate, and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with a tarragon sprig, and serve.

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