Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pinon-Breaded Chicken with Ancho Chile Cranberry Sauce

While looking for something to do with chicken breasts, I stumbled across this recipe and was intrigued by the combination of tart berries, ancho chile peppers, and pine nuts. The original calls for jarred lingonberries, but I couldn't resist the fresh cranberries instead. The end result was surprisingly satisfying.

One year ago: Refried Bean Enchiladas

Pinon-Breaded Chicken with Ancho Chile Cranberry Sauce (adapted from Stop and Smell the Rosemary)

3/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup bread crumbs
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
3 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Madeira
2 cups chicken stock
2 ancho chile peppers, softened in boiling water 2 minutes, drained
4 ounces fresh cranberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Mix pine nuts, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and white pepper in a small bowl.
2. Dip chicken breasts into flour, beaten eggs, and then bread crumb mixture.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add breaded chicken breasts. Saute 10 - 12 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil for sauce over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add shallots and garlic. Saute 2 minutes or until garlic is brown.
5. Add Madeira, chicken stock, and ancho chile peppers for sauce. Cook over high heat 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half and chiles are soft.
6. Remove chiles from liquid. Remove seeds and stems and discard. Puree chiles in a food processor. Add puree back to liquid.
7. Add cranberries and thyme to sauce. Cook 5 minutes or until cranberries have broken down some and sauce is consistency of heavy cream.
8. Spoon sauce over chicken breasts and serve.

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