Maggie Beer shares her love of verjuice, the special ingredient she adds to dishes, in particular chicken, for subtle flavour.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 4 × 260g chicken breast fillets, skin-on
    2 tblspns extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    Sea salt
    5 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    125ml (½ cup) Maggie Beer Verjuice
    125ml (½ cup) Golden Chicken Stock*
    Handful French tarragon, shredded
    80ml (¹⁄4 cup) pure cream
    1 tspn lemon thyme leaves
    140g green grapes, cut in half
    Freshly ground white pepper

Method:

Place the chicken on a plate, drizzle with oil and season with salt, then leave to come to room temperature. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-based frying pan with a tight-fitting lid that will fit the chicken snugly in one layer.

Add the spring onions, then stir and cook for 1–2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chicken to the pan, skin-side down, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. (If the spring onion and garlic start to burn, scrape from the pan and place on top of the chicken.)

Turn the breasts over and cook for 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the verjuice and cook, stirring, until the verjuice has evaporated. Add the chicken stock, tarragon and cream and cook until the liquid
bubbles up. Season with salt, cover with the lid and cook for 2 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep it warm (the chicken will continue to cook while it rests). Increase the heat, bring the remaining liquid to the boil and reduce by half.

At the very last moment before serving, sprinkle in the thyme, add the grapes and season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken breasts immediately, with the sauce spooned around.