Pan Roasted Chicken Breast : Pickled Wasabi Savoy Cabbage : Port reduction : Arugula


Duck fat… I had this plan all worked out when I woke up today,  I was going to make duck breasts, paired with some sort of wine reduction… by the time I was finished with groceries I had picked up all kinds of things, but no duck, I couldn’t find any, I did find great chicken breasts and  I also got duck fat, … so… butter is magical… well duck fat is quite magical in its own unique special way. The following recipe is very simple, a bit rich, butter and duck fat, plus crispy chicken skin… ok, it is VERY rich. But a little richness every now and then doesn’t hurt right? I also added a strong acidic counterpart to cut the fat and balance the dish, a pickled cabbage with a bit of wasabi for heat, and a little arugula to stay in touch with something green and light somehow, adding that missing bitter note.  Ok, enough blah blah blah… here’s what I did in case you care, and I didn’t measure anything so will try my best to come up with some quantities:

Makes: 1-2 servings
Active time:  about an hour
Inactive time: about an hour



sauce pan
cutting board
vegetable peeler
cast iron skillet
one burner
paper towels
prepping bowls


1-2 fresh organic chicken breasts @ room temp.
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tbsp duck fat

Pickled cabbage (this could be made days ahead):

8-10 savoy cabbage leaves whole
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp wasabi
1/2 tsp cayenne red pepper
1 tsp pickled ginger (store bought)
sugar and salt to taste

Port reduction:

1 medium shallot:finely cut
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup port
1/2 cup of chicken stock
100 grams of unsalted butter:cut in small cubes
Salt to taste

Arugula Salad:

1 cup baby arugula
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt to taste

01: prep the pickled cabbage first
02: add vinegar to sauce pan and bring to a simmer
03: add rest of the ingredients
04: wilt cabbage for about 10 minutes
05: adjust salt and sugar to taste
06: place in a non reactive bowl, glass preferably, refrigerate
07: clean sauce pan

08: sauté shallot in some olive oil until golden
09: add port and stock, simmer
10: reduce to a third
11: remove from heat, add butter cubes one at a time while stirring
12: return to heat if sauce goes to cold, keep stirring
13: incorporate all the butter
14: adjust saltiness if needed
15: strain and reserve

16: Pat dry and salt chicken breasts
17: heat up cast iron skillet to medium high heat
18: add tbsp of duck fat to it
19: let it get hot, sauté garlic clove until fragrant, remove.
20: place chicken breast skin side down until golden crispy. ~5 min
21: lower heat to medium, sauté the other side ~5 min
22: temperature and time will change depending on the thickness so adjust
23: internal temperature should be close to 63c or 145f
24: remove from skillet and let rest for 5-8 minutes (very important)

Note: carry over heat will finish the cooking process, this is a heat wave that is traveling from the outside to the core of the food, if you don’t want to over cook your protein, remove it from heat a few degrees before reaching final doneness temperature. In this case, remove the chicken from the skillet at around 60c or 140f, the carry over heat will finish the cooking.

25: place arugula in a bowl
26: add olive oil and vinegar, mix by hand
27: add some salt to taste

Slice chicken breast prior to serving
Drizzle port butter sauce over
Place a small portion of pickled cabbage on plate
Place a small portion of arugula salad