Sunday, March 7, 2010

Strawberry Chicken

The year was 1991, it was late in May, and we were celebrating my husbands (then boyfriend) graduation from high school. His aunt Ruth made dinner that night, strawberry chicken - it was awesome!! Aunt Ruth was the first person I had seen to combine fruit and meat together and instantly I was hooked, both on the dish as well as the Aunt.

From what I remember Aunt Ruth's chicken was pretty basic (but delicious!), soy sauce and ginger as the marinade, it was the fresh ruby red strawberries on top of the chicken that stuck out in my memory. Being the budding foodie that I was I got the recipe for the chicken that night and made it for my own family the following evening.

I haven't made Strawberry chicken in a LONG time. Probably close to 5 years or more. However when strawberries were on sale this week (BOGO 2/$5, not too bad!) I decided it was time to dust off the old strawberry chicken recipe and give it a Kitchen Witch make over, just in time for spring.

The Witch decided that the berries needed to be more of a salsa than just sliced on top, so I used some lime juice and agave nectar, the lime plays nicely with the berries, adding acidity and the agave nectar helps balance that acid with sweetness. Next time I'll add some fresh mint too, I think it would be really good - it needs an herbal flair. The chicken needed some sprucing up too, so I added lime to the marinade along with garlic and green onions, just for kicks.

The results? Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. The chicken has an Asian flair, something that I rarely turn down, slightly spicy from the garlic and ginger and the strawberries add their sweet tang, think sweet and sour chicken for grown ups. The kids will enjoy it too, the little Witch ate half of my chicken!!

Strawberry Chicken
serves 2
2 chicken breasts
1 T soy sauce
juice and zest of 1 lime, divided
2 green onions
1 inch ginger finely minced (can use dried ground, 1 t)
2 cloves garlic
2 pinches kosher salt
few grinds black pepper
1/2 lb strawberries (about 4-5 per person)
1 t agave nectar (can substitute honey)

Make marinade:
Mix lime 1/2 the zest and juice, soy, salt, pepper, onions, garlic and ginger together. Pour over chicken and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Hull strawberries and dice berries into 1/2 in pieces. Make a dressing for berries out of remaining lime zest and juice and a drizzle of agave nectar (about 1/2 t). Pour dressing over diced berries, stir well to coat. Allow fruit to mascerate (fancy word for marinating fruit) while chicken cooks.

Cook chicken in a heavy bottom pan (guess what, I used my cast iron! I know, you're shocked LOL) for about 5-7 minutes on 1st side or until deeply golden browned and edges are opaque. Flip chicken, cook on 2nd side until internal temp is 160*. Remove chicken. Serve with rice, or quinoa and fresh vegetables.


Jenn said...

Wow that looks so good Andrea! I wish you lived closer, I want to cook with you!! :) Well, I'll settle for next best thing..this is definitely going on the list of new things to try! YUM!

Scuttleboose said...

This looks great! You've got me hooked on agave! :)

Anusce@Ciao-Chow said...

O my!! Strawberry Chicken??? Sounds so delish!

Jenn said...

Andrea.. I made this last night.. it was a hit! YUM!! I wish I had made double so I had some leftovers!!! The only thing I did differently was that I grilled the chicken (it's so summer like here, it just seemed like the thing to do!), it turned out perfect! Even Chris, who was a bit hesitant at first, couldn't stop talking about it! Thank you for the recipe! I'll be posting it either later this week or early next week!

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