Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Oranges and Feta

For a tasty chicken dinner with relatively little work, we used a few carefully chosen ingredients that added up to big flavor. We wanted to get chicken breasts with a flavorful browned crust and a moist, juicy interior, then dress them up with an interesting flavor combination. To get perfectly sautéed chicken, we used a high-low approach. We started with a smoking-hot pan for the first side of the breasts then turned down the heat to medium for the second side. While the second side slowly browned, the interior gently cooked through without drying out. While the chicken rested, we toasted minced garlic and whole fennel seeds in the same skillet, then added orange pieces and cooked them until softened for a sweet, fruity relish that nicely complemented the chicken. Salty feta and fresh scallions topped off the dish. Tangerines can be substituted for the oranges.  for the nutritional information for this recipe. See the sidebar that follows the recipe.

2

oranges

¼

cup all-purpose flour

2

(6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded if necessary

Salt and pepper

1

tablespoon vegetable oil

1

small garlic clove, minced

teaspoon fennel seeds

1

tablespoon water

2

tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

2

scallions, sliced thin

1. Cut away peel and pith from oranges. Quarter oranges, then slice crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Spread flour in shallow dish. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge breasts in flour.

2. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Lay chicken in skillet and cook until well browned on first side, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip chicken, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

3. Add garlic and fennel seeds to now-empty skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in orange pieces and water, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until oranges are just softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in any accumulated chicken juices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour relish over chicken, sprinkle with feta and scallions, and serve