Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cherry-Sauced Chicken

This pistachio-crusted chicken with cherry sauce is a cure for simply-grilled chicken boredom.  But it's still healthy.  It's also a great way to use up red wine that's been open a little too long to drink all on its own... If I'm being perfectly honest, that's why I first tried the recipe. I was unwilling to let 1/2 cup of leftover Charles Shaw wine go to waste. I'm that neurotic.

Cherry-Sauced Chicken Ingredients:
-1/3 cup breadcrumbs
-1/2 cup pistachio nuts (without shells)
-dash of salt & pepper (to taste)
-1/4 cup egg whites
-8 chicken breast tenders
-1/2 cup red wine
-1 cup orange juice
-1 cup vegetable broth
-1/4 cup dried cherries (cranberries would work, too)
-sides of choice (I used spinach tossed with slivered almonds and balsamic, plus lemon orzo)
For starters, get crackin'!  Remove pistachios from their shells and run them through a food processor with your breadcrumbs.  Pour the mixture into a bowl for dipping, adding a dash of salt and pepper for extra flavor.  
Pour egg whites into a second bowl, then dip the chicken tenders into egg whites followed by breadcrumbs. Spray a baking sheet and lay the chicken tenders on the baking sheet. Bake the tenders in an oven at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
While the chicken is baking, make the cherry sauce. First put the red wine and dried cherries into a frying pan over medium-high heat, and let the red wine reduce as you stir it around for several minutes. Once it's begun reducing, add the OJ and veggie broth.  Continue stirring it around over medium-high heat, and make sure it doesn't bubble and burn in the edges of the pan.
The first time I made this recipe, I used dried cherries. The second time, I used cranberries. The sauce was still equally delicious.  This dish pairs well with many sides. Sometimes I make it with sweet potatoes, and sometimes I do orzo. In this instance, I cooked up some orzo in a pan with lemon juice and lemon zest, which paired well with the citrus-y flavor that the cherry sauce gets from the OJ.
I also mixed up some greens with balsamic dressing.
Once my plates were ready and the sauce was properly reduced, I topped it off by drizzling cherry sauce on top. Voila.

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