We eat a lot of chicken in my house. Not only is chicken healthy, but it is also extremely versatile. One of the most common cuts of meat we keep in the freezer are boneless skinless chicken breasts. Whenever we get on a health kick, (Not going to lie,this usually goes in cycles.) we try to make better use of the chicken breasts and eat them more frequently. It was during one of these health kicks that I started to try to figure out how to make a white wine sauce which I could use to put an elegant spin on our chicken breast meals.
If it were up to my husband, he would probably be fine with a simple dinner of oven roasted chicken breast, which he would dip in BBQ sauce, and pair with a veggie on the side. However, I need a little more variation to my meals. Not only do I enjoy making different types of food in the kitchen, but I also get sick of eating the same thing over and over again.
White wine sauce is a great way to “fancy” up a chicken breast without losing a lot of the healthy value. When you pour it over the top of your meat, it appears like you are making your chicken unhealthy because it looks like it is slathered in gravy. There is a big difference between white wine sauce and gravy though. The base ingredient of a gravy is the drippings (or grease) of whichever meat you are serving. Obviously, these drippings create a sauce that is very high in fat content, and not good for you at all.
While it would be healthier to eat a chicken breast with no sauce, there is a lot less guilt in consuming it with white wine sauce than there is in pouring a dose of gravy on your plate. White wine sauce is broth-based instead of drippings-based. This lowers the fat content immensely.
A bonus to white wine sauce is that it can be served with either seafood or chicken. It also whips up in only half an hour. It would be a great sauce to serve while having guests over if you wanted to add an extra element to your plate.
2 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Minced Green Onion (White Parts Only)
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Flour
¾ cup Chicken Broth
¼ cup Water
½ cup White Wine (I use a Riesling for this recipe.)
¼ cup Whipping Cream
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp White Pepper
Optional: Save the Green Parts of Green Onion for Garnish
Kitchen Tip 1: Let’s start this post by discussing the choice of white wine for this recipe. I use a Riesling in my sauce. Riesling is a fairly common white wine. Most likely, if you are drinking white wine at an event or wedding, it is probably a Riesling. There is one thing to note when picking out a Riesling though. There are regular Rieslings, but many wineries make semi-sweet Rieslings too. I wouldn’t recommend using a semi-sweet Riesling, because these have more fruit flavors in them which could potentially throw off the taste of your sauce.
Kitchen Tip 2: Before you start making this sauce you should prep and measure all of your ingredients. This recipe uses a roux as a thickening agent. A roux is a butter and flour base that helps to thicken sauces. While roux is simple to make, it also burns quickly. If you do not have the liquid ingredients close at hand while you are working on the sauce, it can cause the roux to burn before adding them to it. By measuring the ingredients ahead of time you can prevent burning because you will only have to reach for each required ingredient and dump it into the pot, rather than having to pause longer to measure them out.
1. Once all of the ingredients are measured out and prepped, start by melting the butter into a sauce pan. After the butter is melted, add in the onions and garlic. Saute them until they begin to tenderize, then add in the flour.
2. After the flour is entirely mixed with the butter, onions, and garlic, the roux will be created. You are only going to cook the roux for about 30 seconds to a minute before adding in the next ingredients. At this point, turn the stove down to medium low to prevent anything from burning.
3. When the roux has cooked, add in the chicken broth, water, and white wine. Continue stirring the pot with a rubber spatula until you are positive that the roux has been entirely dissolved into the liquid ingredients. Once you are sure that nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot, turn the stove down so that the sauce is lightly simmering. It is extremely important that this is kept at a simmer and not a full blown boil. At this point you can turn your attention away from the sauce and work on a different component of the meal. These ingredients will need to simmer for twenty minutes to cook the alcohol out of the wine. It can be tempting to rush this process, but if it does not simmer for a full twenty minutes, the wine flavor will be too strong.
You may want to check on the sauce once in a while throughout the twenty minute simmer to make sure nothing has settled on the bottom of the pot. My stove runs hot, so I check on mine about three times throughout this process. If you can trust your stove to keep the sauce at a simmer instead of a boil you may be able to be a little less paranoid about it.
4. After the alcohol is cooked out of the wine you are almost finished. Add in the whipping cream, salt, and white pepper. Give the sauce about three more minutes of cooking time to combine the last three ingredients together and then pour it over the meat. Feel free to chop up some of the green parts of the green onions to make a nice garnish.
Kitchen Tip 3: If your sauce finishes before the rest of the meal, make sure to keep it on warm. This sauce DOES NOT reheat well. When reheated, the whipping cream separates from the rest of it, so it is essential to maintain a warm temperature before serving.
Overall, this sauce is a quick and easy way to class up a simple chicken or seafood dish. Nothing says “fancy” quite like the addition of a perfectly finished sauce.
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