Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dinner Possible - Balsamic Blackberry Chicken Breasts Menu

This dinner is simple to prepare and everyone loves the sweet and sour tastes of the blackberry balsamic glaze.  And it’s low-cal too.  The whole thing, with a glass of wine, (that’s a standard 5 ounce pour) comes in at less than 575 calories and only 8 grams of fat.  If you’re not drinking  wine, it would be about 100 calories less, but LindySezfor 100 calories, I’ll enjoy the wine.

Blackberry Balsamic Chicken Breasts

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 (about 4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot, (or onion)
  • 1/4 cup pinot noir wine, (or another red wine or if you don’t drink use chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top of each breast, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the breasts, herb side down and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and keep warm.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the shallots to the pan and saute for one minute. Add the wine (or broth) stirring to scrape up any brown bits; simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add the jam and vinegar and simmer until the preserves melt. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the breasts and serve. Serves 4
Serve this with this simple but tasty orzo.  Orzo is a small, rice shaped pasta.  It cooks in about 10 minutes.  So start the water to cook the orzo at the same time you start the chicken.

Herbed Orzo

Ingredients
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
  1. Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain well. Return to the pot and stir in the herbs along with salt and pepper, to taste.  Serves 4
Add a healthy, tasty broccoli dish.  Just remember to cook the broccoli only to crisp tender, don’t overcook it into mush.

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Zest

Ingredients
  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon (zest first, juice second)
  • Salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, (optional)

Directions
  1. Discard the lower third of the broccoli stem (compost!). Peel remaining stem and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cut the broccoli crown into 2-inch florets. In a steamer set over boiling water (if you don’t have a steamer, a metal colander will work), cover and steam the broccoli until it is crisp tender, about 4 – 5 minutes. When done, toss it with the olive oil, lemon zest, juice, salt and red pepper flakes, if using.  Serves 4
If you are drinking wine, I recommend a  Merlot, Shiraz, or Pinot Noir.  Their flavor profiles will will work well with the blackberry glaze as well as play nicely with the lemon zest and herbs.

LindySez: -So there you are.  Dinner for tonight or any weeknight that I think the whole family will love. Cheers!

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