The pan sauce for these carrots has a silky texture and a slightly sweet licorice flavor from the mingling of the fresh tarragon and the blood orange; it works beautifully to smooth out the mineral-y edge of carrots. If you can't find blood oranges (they're in season November through March), you can use navel oranges or tangerines for the zest and juice, or you could also replace some or all of the juice with pomegranate or cranberry juice. For a small holiday gathering, these carrots would make a nice addition to a main course of filet mignon and perhaps a potato gratin.
- 1/2 TSP FINELY GRATED BLOOD ORANGE ZEST
- 1 TBSP BLOOD ORANGE JUICE
- 2 TSP PURE MAPLE SYRUP
- 1 TSP RED-WINE VINEGAR
- 1 1/2 TBSP UNSALTED BUTTER
- 1 TBSP EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 1 LB CARROTS, peeled and cut into sticks about 3 in long and 3/8 in thick
- 3/ TSP KOSHER SALT
- 1/4 CUP LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH
- 2 TSP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH TARRAGON
Combine the blood orange zest and juice, maple syrup, and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Cut 1/2 Tbsp of the butter into 4 pieces and keep them chilled in the refrigerator.
In a 10-in straight-sided saute pan with a lid, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the carrots and salt and toss well. Arrange the carrots in mostly one layer across the bottom of the pan. Cook, without stirring, until the bottoms of the carrots are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir and flip the carrots with tongs (don't worry if you don't turn them all over at first) and cook, flipping and turning the carrots occasionally, until they are all starting to feel limp and are a bit browned on at least two sides (some will be darker brown), another 5 minutes. The pan will have darkened a bit.
Carefully pour the broth into the pan (it will sputter), cover quickly, and cook until all but 1 to 2 Tbsp of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the blood orange mixture and the cold butter. Using a silicone spatula, gently toss and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, until the butter has melted and the pan sauce is coating the carrots, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the tarragon, and serve.
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