Make time with thyme: The fastest sauce

April 10th, 2010 by ACADEMIE_Kitchen_Creations Leave a reply »

Grilled chicken breastWe’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: In the age of XYZ Corp’s Plastic Bottle Sauce (with loads of sodium), it’s easy to forget that you don’t have to be a master chef to create a sauce that is healthy and *very* fast to make (around 5-10 minutes).

The following sauce is an all time favorite of mine – and it’s one of the easiest things I’ve ever cooked: Wine reduction + butter + thyme.

First: What’s a wine reduction?

A reduction is the result of simmering your wine and letting the water and alcohol evaporate – which amplifies the flavors in your final “reduction” (all the goodness left in the sauce pan).

Second: Which wine?

For this reduction, we’ve chosen our Blend #1, a dry red wine blend (with a large Pinot Noir component) because it’s earthy, oaky nature is very complimentary to the only spice we use in the sauce: Thyme. As the sauce reduces, the spice notes of the wine itself get stronger and sharper. This harmonizes perfectly with the earthy and grassy components of the Thyme.

Lastly: Let’s get cooking!

  • Pour 1/3 cup of our Blend #1 into a sauce pan and crank up the heat.
  • Throw your chicken breast fillets on the grill (I love the George Foreman Grill because it’s so darned fast and easy to clean up).
  • You may want to start some rice too, to serve as a side.
  • The wine should be simmering now. You’ll want it to simmer until about half of it has evaporated. If in doubt, you can *carefully* pour the liquid into a measuring cup to see how much has evaporated so far.
  • Once there, toss in 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Most butter sticks have a little measuring guide on the wrapper. Simply cut according to the measured out lines. Add to wine. Stir until thoroughly melted.
  • Now sprinkle in some thyme to taste and you’re there, baby!

Your chicken breasts should be done now. Pop them on a plate, spoon over your wine sauce and BAM!

So easy, yeah?

Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier than this for a gourmet meal. And you get all the health benefits of wine (and the flavor benefits of *right* wine, at that). Also, you boiled out the alcohol in the wine as you simmered it, so there’s no problems there (alcohol boils at around 175F and water boils at 212F).

There you have it, chef. Nice work. Bon appetit!

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