If there is one sauce that I always order with my steak, it is pepper sauce!
Don’t ask me why. Rarely do I grind any pepper on my food but when I devour the sauce I more than make up for the other lost opportunities. It was a first for me to work with whole, squishy peppercorns and I found out some more about the world’s most popular spice.
In general, we get black, green, pink and white peppercorns. Let’s start with a process of elimination. Although they are similar in size but milder in flavour, pink peppercorns come from an entirely different plant. They are available dried or preserved in brine but cannot be substituted for true peppercorns.
Black peppercorns are the ones that come in grinders at restaurants all across the world. The berries turn red as they are picked then in turn dried in the sun, where they go wrinkly and black. The green peppercorn is the unripe version of the black one but although it has a light flavour it is just as spicy as its black counterpart. White peppercorns are ripe red berries that have been soaked in water and the outer layer has been removed. It has a milder flavour than black pepper but most of the time it is used in order not to spoil the appearance of dish, e.g. light coloured sauces.
If you are not peppered out after reading all this, I urge you to try the recipe. So easy to prepare and you won’t be disappointed!
Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.
Chicken Breast with Creamy Green Peppercorn Sauce
Preparation Time: 5 minutes – Cooking Time: 15 mins
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
- 25g (1 oz) butter
- 45ml (3 tbsp) brandy
- 120ml (4 fl oz) hot chicken stock
- 10ml (2 tsp) drained green peppercorns in brine
- 45ml (3 tbsp) crème fraîche
- Season chicken breasts lightly on both sides.
- Heat the butter until foaming in a large frying pan, then add the chicken breasts and cook gently for 4 minutes until lightly browned.
- Turn the meat over and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add the brandy to the pan, ignite and cook for 1 minute until the flames die down.
- Add the stock and green peppercorns to the pan, then simmer rapidly for 30 seconds or until the liquid has reduced slightly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.
- Return to the heat and simmer for 30 seconds.
- Returns the chicken to the pan cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, butter-fried leeks and sweet carrots.
- Use green peppercorns preserved in brine for this dish, because they have a milder flavor than dried ones. Always remember to drain and rinse well before using.
- Make sure the chicken is cooked by inserting a knife into the thickest part. The juices should run clear.
- You can cook the breasts with their skins on. Just cook the meat skin-side down first for 4-5 minutes, or until golden, then turn around to cook the other side.
- The sauce will go well with beef steak too.