Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry-braised chicken

The strawberries are still coming in so I experimented yesterday with a savory dish where they could add a unique flavor. I’ve discovered that one of the best-tasting and easiest ways to cook the locally-raised chickens that we enjoyed is through braising on top of the stove. It seems to add moisture to the chicken. So I created a strawberry braising liquid that I then turned into a gravy. As you read the directions below, keep in mind that I didn’t measure as I went, so these are guesses.

Here’s how I did it:
1. Heat olive oil in skillet.
2. Dredge chicken pieces (enough to fill one, covered skillet) in flour, salt and pepper. Sear chicken in hot skillet.
3. Remove the chicken and brown about ¼ cup chopped onions and a couple of garlic cloves.
4. Add onions, garlic and 1 cup freshly cut strawberries to food process and puree the mixture. Pour it into the skillet and add about ½ cup red wine, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a splash of organic grade B maple syrup, thyme, salt, pepper and enough water to give the liquid a loose consistency.
5. When the liquid is simmering, add the chicken pieces. Cover and simmer approximately 30 minutes, turning once or twice.
6. Add chopped broccoli and cook another 10 minutes.
7. Remove chicken and broccoli. Taste liquid to determine if you need to add anything to balance the flavor. Add corn starch to thicken for a gravy.

I served this over a bed of brown rice with lemon-butter asparagus on the side and a cheese spread (another edible I created yesterday with some garden goodness) on crackers.

It certainly looked good, but would it taste good? Jim and I sometimes have different tastes, so I waited to see what he thought. The result made me smile.

Jim’s rating: 10
Beth’s rating: 9

I’m not sure what I thought it still needed to earn a phenomenal 10, but the fact that Jim didn’t even suggest one change to the recipe told me it was a huge hit. So give it a try yourself, if not with strawberries then with whatever berry is in season around your house these days. Berries aren’t only for dessert!

1 comment:

  1. Beth, I just LOVE your blog. Sometimes I have to catch up, but I never miss a posting. I just wanted to remind people (I know you will do this anyway), that after you eat some of your beans fresh and then let them dry on the vine, you will save some of the seed for next years plants! Happy gardening! Joan