November 20, 2019 | Recipes

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato Puree and Brown Butter Cashew Drizzle

This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.

Derrick Fox

I was never a fan of turkey growing up so now that I am an adult, turkey is not served in my house on Thanksgiving. I usually prepare Beef Wellington and lobster mac and cheese. However, we’ll save those recipes for another day.

With the holiday season in full swing, I really wanted to share something that was in line with fall. Today I am sharing my skin-on roasted chicken with sweet potato puree and brown butter cashew drizzle. It’s a great fall dish that gives you Thanksgiving vibes without the food coma and something easy that will still impress the family.

Also, I’m giving you a bonus step that isn’t essential but will make a huge difference in the juiciness of the chicken.

Some people don’t like recipes that have you prepare things a day in advance. I get it. You’re busy, have kids, and holiday plans are constantly changing. But one thing I can promise you is this step will be such a major game-changer for cooking chicken that you’ll never want to go back to un-brined chicken again. Your family and guests won’t stop asking how you got your chicken so juicy. Tell them or don’t; I love to keep it a secret.

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato Puree and Brown Butter Cashew Drizzle

Ingredients Equipment
·         4 boneless, skin-on organic chicken breasts ·         Small pot
·         2 large sweet potatoes ·         Medium pot
·         12 oz heavy cream ·         Oven safe sauté pan
·         1 stick butter, split ·         Sauté pan
·         1 cup cashews, crushed
·         1 tsp cinnamon
·         Dash of cayenne pepper
·         ¼ tbsp. garlic powder
·         2 tbsp grapeseed oil
·         8 cups water
·         1 cup salt
·         1 cup sugar
·         ¼ cup honey
·         2 tbsp turmeric
·         1 bay leaf

To brine the chicken: Start this first step about 12 hours in advance of cooking the chicken, but do not brine the chicken for more than 24 hours.

Add 8 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add salt, sugar, honey, turmeric, and bay leaf to the boiling water. Whisk until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard bay leaf. Add ice to chill the water. After about 10 minutes, remove any ice cubes that haven’t melted. You want the brine to be the temperature of your refrigerator before we add the chicken.

In a freezer bag or large plastic or glass container, place your raw chicken breasts and cover with the brine. You want the chicken to be fully submerged. Place in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

Pro-tip: Save any extra brine for next time! Always pour your brine over the chicken in the container you are brining in. Don’t put the chicken in the pot of brine because then you can’t use the extra brine.

Once the chicken is brined, you are ready to cook!

To prepare sweet potato puree: Peel and chop your potatoes into 1” cubes. Place them in a small pot and add heavy cream until potatoes are just covered. Season with a few dashes of salt, then place on medium high heat. Once the cream comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes all the way through for approximately 15 minutes. Once cooked, move the potatoes from the pot to the blender, leaving the leftover cream in the pot. Add 3 tbsp of butter, 1 tsp cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper to the potatoes and blend. Add reserved cream to thin puree to your desired consistency. You want the puree to be smooth, but not runny. Add salt to taste. Return to pot to keep warm until you plate.


To cook the chicken: Preheat oven to 400º. Remove raw chicken from the brine. Rinse the breasts and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add grapeseed oil. Sear chicken skin-side down for 45 seconds to a minute, then place the skillet in the oven with the chicken still skin-side down. Cook 10 minutes, flip chicken and cook for 10-12 more minutes.

To prepare the brown butter cashew drizzle: While the chicken is cooking, in a sauté pan over medium-low heat, add crushed cashews and begin to toast. Once lightly toasted, add the rest of your butter. Continue to move the butter around in the pan. You want to slowly cook the butter with the cashews until the butter starts to brown. After approximately 10 minutes, once the butter has browned and smells super delicious, it’s done. Turn off the heat.

To assemble: Remove chicken from the oven and let rest for a couple of minutes, then slice.

Swoosh, splat, smear, dollop, or scoop your sweet potato puree onto the plate. Add sliced chicken with the crispy skin up, and then drizzle with your cashew brown butter. Top with micro greens to really set off the plate.

Bonus: To add more color and flavor to the plate, add some steamed or roasted veggies. I recommend Romanesco or asparagus. Happy Thanksgiving!