– 2 pounds of Skinless, Boneless Deveined Chicken Breasts (4 to 5 breasts)
– 8 to 10 fresh Lemons
– 1/4 pound of Butter
– 1/2 cup Bovril (English Beef Extract / or Beef Bouillon Paste) *
– 1/2 cup Madeira Wine (Portuguese Dry Wine)
– 2 cups Heavy Cream
– 2 cups White Rice, cooked in 4 cups of water
– 1/2 cup Chopped Parsley (curly or Italian flatleaf)
[NOTE FROM MICHELLE: “I love Rain Water Madeira, but any good Madeira would work. It is very dry and is perfect for this dish.”]
[* NOTE ON BOVRIL: Bovril is Beef Extract Paste from England, and is very difficult to find in the U.S. However, there are a couple of substitutes for it. One is called Bovrite, and is made in the U.S. There is also an easy-to-find beef bouillon paste called Better than Bouillon, that also interchangeable with Bovril.]
Place the chicken breasts in an eight-inch by eight inch Pyrex (or other shallow) cooking dish. Squeeze enough fresh lemon juice to fully cover the chicken breasts.
[NOTE FROM MICHELLE: “Only use fresh lemon juice with this recipe. Do not use bottled lemon juice, because the fresh lemon helps to delicately partially cook the chicken just like a ceviche.”]
Place cellophane wrap over the top of the dish, and marinate the chicken for three to four hours in refrigerator. Halfway during the process, turn the chicken breasts over, and add more lemon juice if necessary.
When the chicken has marinated in the lemon juice for three to four hours, take one whole stick of butter and place in a skillet large enough to hold the chicken breasts. Over low heat, melt the butter. A large wrought-iron frying pan is perfect for this.
[TIP FROM MICHELLE: “When you are cooking with the butter, never let the butter burn at all, or you will ruin the whole recipe!”]
Add the chicken breasts and according to Michelle, “Slowly drizzle in the lemon juice, so that you end up with a lemon butter sauce.”
Turn up the temperature to medium after you add the lemon juice to the butter and chicken breasts, then reduce the heat and simmer them on medium low heat for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Check the center of the chicken breasts to make sure they are thoroughly cooked. The bubbling lemon butter will keep them moist.
Says Michelle, “After a minute, turn the breasts over, and continue turning them until they are no longer pink in the middle.”
Meanwhile, in a saucepan boil four cups of water, add the two cups of rice, return to a boil, turn down the heat and cook on very low heat for 20 minutes.
Once the chicken breasts are thoroughly cooked in the center, take the chicken out of the skillet, and put them in a heat-resistant dish. Place them in an oven that has been preheated to 250 degrees, just to keep them warm.
In a measuring cup add ½ cup of Bovril (or other concentrated beef bouillon paste), and dilute it in ½ cup of Madeira wine. Add this mixture to the lemon butter, stir and heat to medium and simmer until it reduces in half.
Add two cups of heavy cream, and continue cooking until it reduces to half its volume. When it is done, and the rice is ready, take the chicken breasts out of the oven, and add them to the sauce. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for five minutes, turning them a couple of times.
On a large serving platter, add the cooked rice, place the chicken breasts onto the bed of rice, and cover them with the sauce. Or, you can arrange the chicken on the rice, on individual plates and cover them with the sauce.
Top the chicken and rice with chopped fresh parsley, and serve.