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!