Monday, February 06, 2006

V-day dinner plan

V-day is just a week away. We're not going to be hitting the restaurants or doing anything really...just a night home. But we will be making it a little special, so this will be our plan for the evening...I'll have to decide what to do for dessert, yet.

Chicken Breasts with Brandied Cherry-Chocolate Sauce

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons salt
4 cups water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons brandy

1. Mix salt into water in a large bowl or zip-top plastic bag until dissolved. Add chicken and allow to brine for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove breasts from brine, rinse with water, and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Preheat oven to 200°. Pour flour onto a plate or pie pan and roll each breast in flour, patting gently to lightly coat.

3. Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a heavy 12-inch skillet. Swirl to mix, and cook until butter begins to color. Lay breasts in pan and cook, undisturbed, until brown, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and cook on second side, undisturbed, until juices begin to clot around pieces, 5–7 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm in the oven while making sauce.

4. Add chicken broth to skillet, scraping to release any brown bits. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, 8–10 minutes. Add cherries and vinegar; boil until spoon scraped across pan bottom leaves a visible path in sauce, 8–10 minutes. Stir in chocolate and add brandy. Spoon over chicken breasts and serve.

I plan a salad as a side....probably our favorite...greens, pear, cashew and basil balsamic vinegrette.

I'll report back in a week. Oh, by the way, the recipe came from a magazine that was available free at Teaism called Delicious Living...and available online here.

UPDATE: Here are the photos from this dinner!


Edna said...

Chocolate and chicken? Did I read that right? hmmm... Well, I will need to see how this turns out! Good luck with it and don't forget to snap a picture of it.

What are you tasting?,


Stef said...

Haha. Doesn't surprise me that you'd find a way to work *breasts* into your Valentine's Day plans!

;-) Naughty!

Demetrius said...

Two questions... did you ever get that tiramisu fondue recipe?

And, secondly... I recently read a recipe online for a mango shrimp dipping sauce. I can't remember where I found the information, but do remember that it called for chopped mango, sour cream and mayo. Any suggestions on other ingredients to add?

Many thanks.

ScottE. said...

Stef: I wasn't even thinking about're naughty!

Demetrius: D'oh! I forget and just requested the recipe...that would be a good dessert for this.

For the mango dipping sauce....? I don't know the recipe, but maybe lime, cilantro, red onion? some hot chiles?

Demetrius said...

Cool. Will you also please post the recipe?

And, happy to report that I found the recipe on Here it is in case you want to give it a try:

1 pound package frozen mango chunks, defrosted, (divided)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila
2 teaspoons minced jalapeƱo chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh! That sounds so good! Maybe I will try that one when I go back to Atlanta to see my sweetie! :-)

ScottE. said...

This was tasty. Not bad at all. But if I were to make it again, I would make some changes!

1) The recipe calls for 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate. I think this was too much. I would go to 1/2 oz, or 1/2 a block of Baker's chocolate.

2) There is 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar. This is alright, but maybe make that a 'scant 1/3 cup'. When you add this and allow it to simmer, it is going to make you nose tickle and want to sneeze! Have fun.

3) After you add the balsamic and the cherries, the recipe says to let it simmer for another 8-10 minutes. I think this is too much. Maybe only go 5 this closely. You don't want to the sauce to get too thick!