Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Curry Seared Chicken with a Curry Ginger Orange Reduction Paired with 2010 Fox Run Vineyard Finger Lakes Riesling

Curry Seared Chicken with a Curry Ginger Orange Reduction-2

I wandered to the kitchen and found a bag of oranges leftover from our Thanksgiving feast and wondered what should I do with all those oranges.  Chef Sue regularly makes a concoction of juice including any number of green things and fruit resulting in an evil brew with the flavor of alfalfa and a hint of fruit.  I knew a bag of oranges far outstretched her juicing needs, so I began to think of what productive use I could find for them.

It took only minutes to decide on a curry ginger orange reduction to drizzle over something – but what?  The second inspiration came from a recent preparation of chicken breasts created by Chef Sue.  She took a couple of chicken breasts, coated them in a mixture of cayenne, paprika, chili powder, and whatever else was within reach.  She then seared them in a heavy skillet to seal the juices and encrust the seasoning.  The uncovered skillet then went into a preheated 350 degree F oven until the internal temp of the breasts reached 125 degrees.  The skillet was then removed from the oven and the breasts allowed to rest (in the skillet) for 20 to 30 minutes.  The retained heat from the skillet and the chicken continued to heat and cook the center while resting (it must be a heavy skillet). The result is the most tender and juiciest breast you will ever taste.

Curry Seared Chicken with a Curry Ginger Orange Reduction

It is important to note the chicken will not achieve the USDA recommended temperature of 165 degrees.  If you choose to use this approach, do it knowing that you are not complying with the USDA recommendations.  I am personally ok with this, but it is your decision to follow my example.

Back to our story – I used Chef Sue’s preparation but changed the seasoning to include curry powder, coriander, cumin, ground ginger and salt.  With this substitution, the seasoning for the chicken mimicked the seasoning in the orange reduction that included fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, minced garlic, fresh ginger, curry powder, and chili powder.

2010 Fox Run Vineyards Finger Lakes Riesling

Knowing this would be a curried flavor bomb, I decided on a 2010 Fox Run Vineyard Finger Lakes Riesling.  I knew I would need the sweetness of a Riesling to balance the strong curry component.  A semi-dry wine with tropical fruit aromas and flavors of peach, citrus, and honey, the 2010 Fox Run Vineyard Finger Lakes Riesling was a perfect choice.

2010 Fox Run Vineyards Finger Lakes Riesling-1

I was drawn to this Riesling not only for the characteristics I was looking for, but also because it comes from the Finger Lakes region of New York.  I had not yet tried a wine from this region and was anxious to give it a try.  I was not disappointed.  At $12, this wine is a crowd pleaser and an exceptional value.  I am looking forward to sampling more wines from Fox Run Vineyards and the Finger Lake region.


Curry Seared Chicken


  • Chicken breasts
  • Curry Powder
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Ground ginger
  • Salt


  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper
  2. Coat chicken with a mixture of the spices and salt.
  3. Sear chicken breasts on high heat.
  4. Remove from heat and add six orange slices per chicken breast
  5. Place chicken in preheated oven at 350 degrees until internal temp reaches 125.
  6. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 30 minutes uncovered. Leaving it uncovered is important. If you leave it covered, the steam will tighten the grain and the breast will be less tender.

Curry Ginger Orange Sauce


  • 2 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Zest 1/2 orange
  • Slices from one orange (cut the rind down to the meat, then slice out the orange segments leaving the membranes on the carcass)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 ounces fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat small sauce pan to Medium-High
  2. Add minced garlic to sauce pan and toast until just turning brown
  3. Add ginger to pan for about one minute.
  4. When ginger is starting to look toasty, add orange juice to pan along with salt, curry, and chili powder.
  5. At just under a boil, reduce by 1/2 or until you achieve a consistency you like being careful not to burn the sauce.
  6. When you achieve the desired consistency, add the butter, stir until melted, taste and adjust with salt. If you taste the sauce prior to adding the butter, you may be surprised by the orange zest and strength of the spice flavors. The butter will sweeten the sauce and even out the rough edges.


Place chicken over a bed of basmati rice and drizzle with sauce.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


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