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Archive for the ‘chutney’ Category

A blurry iPhone photo doesn’t do this dinner justice. Not even close. That’s the only regret I take from this meal.  I was in upstate New York with my parents for a few short days last April. When Dad asked me to cook the chicken breasts he’d purchased earlier in the week, I immediately wanted to make something that would be a departure from the norm, both for their palates and mine.

That creative impulse is what led to the ridiculously long title of the post. Grilled chicken with fruit chutney, glazed carrots and brussel sprouts provides the base of the meal. It’s one that I find intensely satisfying, even without the “X” factors of grapefruit or cranberries. That said, I’m glad I experimented with the ingredients available in the kitchen and local Wegmans.

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Grilled chicken with pear-plum-grapefruit chutney, cranberry-honey-balsamic carrots and roasted brussel sprouts

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Dad asked if I would like to cook tonight. I did the ingredients he’d selected some justice, improvising a chutney to dress up the chicken breasts he’d purchased. I minced a small yellow onion and sauteed it until translucent in 1/2 tbsp of butter in a medium-sized saucepan.

I chopped and added a ripe Bosc pear, a black plum and the flesh of half a pink grapefruit, slicing out each segment. After adding a tablespoon of brown sugar, some salt and a dash of balsamic vinegar, I left the mixture to bubble gently on the back burner.

In the meantime, I cut the stems from the brussel sprouts and took off the outer leaves. I sliced each in half and put them sliced face down on a non-stick baking pan I’d sprayed with canola oil. I put them in a preheated over at 350, along with three bell peppers. After twenty minutes, I turned them over and brushed the faces with a maple-balsamic-soy mixture (equal parts of each). The folds of the brussel sprouts held the liquid quite well, given this arrangement. I turned the oven off twenty minutes later, leaving them inside to stay warm.

Dad was kind enough to peel and slice the carrots into 1/4″ thick rounds. I sauteed them in a large saucepan with a pat of butter (a common theme, I’m afraid, but it tastes so good….). After they had softened up (about 10 minutes on low-medium heat), I added 3 oz of equal parts honey, unsweetened cranberry juice and balsamic vinegar and let it reduce. The resulting side dish had a pleasant, tangy flavor profile I hadn’t encountered before; I’ll be trying that again.

I used a tip I’d picked up from Gimpadelic last year, dousing the boneless, skinless breasts with olive oil, dry herbs, sea salt and ground pepper. In the absence of skin, the oil keeps the chicken moist (and delicious) on the grill.

Start to finish, this took less than an hour and dressed up chicken, carrots and brussel sprouts rather well. Given that Dad isn’t into spicy foods, I didn’t add any chilis or a habanero pepper to the chutney. Either are ingredients I’d certainly add in the future. Robin also suggested blanching the brussel sprouts for two minutes before roasting, to soften up the remainder of the stalk. Even so, an excellent do. When I roast brussel sprouts again, I’ll definitely employ this method.

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