Chef Shaun Trachtenburg, of Bistro Aix in Jacksonville, Florida, shares his recipe for a satisfying summer meal.
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 quart water
- 1/3 bundle of fresh thyme
- 4 dried bay leaves
- ¾ tbsp. black peppercorns
- ¼ tbsp. pink peppercorns
- 5 lemons, cut
- 2 large airline chicken breasts (Bistro Aix uses Ashley Farms)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 each medium sized zucchini, diced
- 1 ear corn
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 tbsp. salt plus extra, to taste
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. sea salt, plus extra to taste
- ¼ tsp. white pepper, plus extra to taste
- Fresh herbs for garnish
- Prepare the chicken brine by placing salt, honey, and water in a saucepot. Heat until salt and honey dissolve.
- Remove pot from heat. Add thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and lemons to the pot, allowing the residual heat to release flavors.
- Pour brine over two to three quarts of ice to cool and dissolve.
- Place breasts into a small container with enough brine to fully submerge chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate for 18-22 hours. Remaining brine can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Cooking and assembly procedure:
- Preheat oven to 315 degrees.
- Place chicken breasts on a greased flat pan, and arrange zucchini and tomatoes around the chicken. Bake 35-40 minutes.
- Place potatoes in a medium saucepot and cover with water by two inches. Add 1 tbsp. salt. Cook over medium heat for 45-50 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Pour 2 cups of heavy cream and 3 tbsp. unsalted butter into a small saucepan. Add 1 tsp. of sea salt and ¼ tsp. of white pepper. Heat on low until butter is dissolved and cream is hot.
- When potatoes are done, strain through a colander; be mindful of rising steam. Place potatoes into a potato ricer and rice into a medium mixing bowl. Add cream and butter mixture, and mix until potatoes are smooth and creamy.
- Husk corn and remove silk. Toss the corn with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Grill corn on either an indoor or outdoor grill over high heat until the cob develops a visible char. Remove corn from the grill and cut corn from the cob.
- Remove chicken and vegetables from the oven, reserving jus to the side.
- Place one generous scoop of potatoes, half of the grilled corn, and half of the roasted vegetables on each plate. Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the potatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs and jus.