Panko Crusted Chicken Breast with Orange Cranberry Ginger Reduction

Every once in a while I get the opportunity to make a restaurant-style meal for dinner. Mostly this involves bedtime cooperation from the younger kids, the absence of the older ones, and the availability of ingredients. In other words, it doesn’t happen too often.

On this occasion, I happened to have a number of chicken breasts as a basis. You don’t always need crazy ingredients to make a new dish. Sometimes, the combination of what you have is crazy enough. A quick rummaging through the pantry and refrigerator turned up some white wine, leeks, potatoes, and panko breadcrumbs.

Sounds like dinner to me.

I pulled the panko breadcrumbs from the pantry, as well as bag of dried cranberries. Back to the fridge and I found my orange marmalade (yes, homemade) and frozen crushed ginger in the freezer.

Setting up for breading and pan frying follows the same basic procedure — only the ingredients change. You’ll need three bowls, two trays, flour (or other dusting ingredient) and eggs (or other binding ingredient, but usually eggs). The breading is recipe-specific, so for this preparation the panko goes into the third bowl.

In a separate pan I pan-roasted the potatoes. Once the potatoes were done, I cleaned and heated the pan to 285°C (525°F). I sliced the leeks lengthwise and put them in the dry pan face-down.

Variations

Instead of chicken use sole or scalloped veal.

Instead of cranberries use apricots or golden raisins.

Instead of ginger use a small chile pepper or hydrated sun-dried tomatoes.

Instead of white wine use peach schnapps or triple sec.

Instead of orange marmalade use peach jam.

Instead of roast potatoes use beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, polenta, roasted red onions or rice.

Instead of leeks use asparagus, celery, or romaine lettuce.

Instead of panko breadcrumbs use crushed cornflakes or regular breadcrumbs.

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