Happy Monday! If that’s an oxymoron for you, I apologize. I’m pretty sure my teenage girls are not finding anything happy about this Monday. They are in this weird transition where they have no online classes for two weeks prior to switching to a hybrid schedule, but they still have (in their words) a ton of work to do. I’m pretty sure the 14-year-old me would be looking at this as a vacation but, fortunately, they are way more responsible than I am. I mean was.
In case you are not familiar with Meyer lemons, let me explain these darling little citrus fruits. According to my sources on the internet, they are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, making them a bit sweeter and more complex in flavor than a regular lemon. They have thin skin like a mandarin orange but tend more toward a lemon’s tartness. You will find them at your supermarket, specialty food shop, or Costco (where I bought a bag) in the dark of winter when other produce is out of season, and you need a bit of brightness. You can use them in place of lemons or vice versa; regular lemons will result in a slightly sharper, more tart flavor.
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*This recipe is specific for using frozen chicken breasts. I always have a huge bag of them from Costco. One of the things I love most about the Instant Pot is that you can throw them in without thawing! If you want to adapt the recipe for fresh chicken breasts, consult the cooking time table at instant pot.com.
Instant Pot Meyer Lemon Chicken
( 6 – 8 servings)
*3 pounds (approximately) frozen chicken breasts,
6 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock/broth (low-sodium boxed is great but use what you have)
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
green olives or capers (optional)
Meyer lemon slices (optional)
fresh or dried parsley (optional)
Place frozen chicken breasts, Meyer lemon juice, zest, chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, and chicken stock in a 6 quart, or larger (mine is 8 quart), Instant Pot.
Set the Instant Pot to Manual and cook for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. (I cooked mine for 15, but I could have knocked a minute or two off as they were falling apart a little more than I wanted them to).
Allow the pressure to naturally release for ten minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
Remove the chicken from the broth and set it aside.
Remove the broth from the pot, straining the solids, and reserve it for the sauce.
You should have about 1 1/2 cups of broth to work with. If you have much more than that, discard it. If you have much less, add a little more boxed stock/broth to make up the difference. Set aside while you brown the chicken.
Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and coat the bottom with cooking oil. Brown the chicken breasts, just a couple minutes on each side, then set it to warm and let them hang out while you make the sauce.
(You could also take them out, cover them with foil, and make the sauce right in the pot. I was totally winging it and didn’t even know I was going to make the sauce until I got to that point. Up to you.)
In a saucepan (or the Instant Pot) cook the butter and flour over medium/low heat, stirring, until the roux becomes light amber in color.
Slowly, whisking constantly, add the drained broth and cook until it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. It should be thick enough to coat a metal spoon without slipping off.
Taste it. Add salt and/or pepper as needed.
Arrange the chicken breasts in a large shallow bowl or platter. Pour the sauce over them evenly.
Garnish as you please! I would have used capers as well, but they are’t as easy for Ella to pick out as the olives.
Serve with rice, pasta, or bread to take full advantage of the sauce!
Sort of like bright citrus fruit in the dead of winter… Stay well, my friends!
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.