Do you like chicken? I like chicken. It seems to always be a good backup dinner. For example… not feeling spendy/fancy enough to buy fish? But don’t want something as carb-y as pasta? Answer: Chicken. You can do so many things with it! Cut it up and use it in a stir fry, smash it and coat it in Panko. Roast it in the oven with root vegetables. Make soup. The list goes on and on.
One of my personal favorite chicken recipes is this recipe for chicken with plum chutney from Martha Stewart. When I was in high school, we used to get Martha’s monthly everyday food magazines, and I would always go through them one by one and dog-ear all the recipes I wanted to make. This one has been by far the best recipe I have ever made from those things, and has stuck around the longest. It became a family favorite when I made it at my family reunion, and I it was included in the cookbook of family recipes that I gave my mom for her birthday last fall. It also is one of the few meals I’ve made for Jonah’s parents (this one even got the honor of being served on his dad’s birthday), so you know it’s good. It’s perfectly summery: fruity and tangy, but also sweet and a beautiful purple color.
Chicken with Plum Chutney
4 (6 to 8 ounces each) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and ground pepper
2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno chile, (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if you want), chopped
4 red plums, (about 1 pound), halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 Tbl cider vinegar
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Start by seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Put the chicken into the hot pan and cook until it’s opaque throughout, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside for later use.
Now let’s make the chutney. Put the rest of the olive oil into the same skillet (No need to even rinse! Look at that, a one pot meal!), as well as the onion and jalapeno. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the plums, sugar, vinegar, curry powder, ginger, and 1/4 cup of water. Now, I like to do a little less water so it isn’t quite as runny, but do it how you like. If you add too much water, you can always let it cook down a bit more (though everything in the chutney will get more cooked); On the other hand, if you add less to begin with, you can always add more later. Do whichever suits you. Bring the chutney to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the plums are softened and the liquid is slightly thick – the recipe says 8 minutes, but I always find that this takes a bit longer.
When the chutney is ready, add the chicken and any juices from the plate back into the pan and simmer until the chicken is heated through. Season to taste with S&P and serve the chicken with loads of chutney spooned on top. In college, I liked to make large batches of this chutney and then freeze it, and then all I really needed to do was cook up some chicken and voila, dinner. Or you can put it over some plain pasta. Really, any vehicle you need to get this chutney into your mouth is fine. But chicken is best.
Ticket Give Away!
Now, speaking of chicken, I’ve got my very first give away on the blog! Kind of cool, right? It’s really only for Portlanders, though… sorry out-of-towners. Last week, while on vacation, I was contacted to see if I wanted to offer FREE tickets to the Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest. Exciting, no? At this point in the game, this is the regional finals at the Art Institute of Portland. The contest takes place on August 10th (in a week and a half!) at 9:30 am. You would be able to attend the event, watch the contest live, and sample the contestants’ dishes. You also will have a chance to see the professional kitchen at the Art Institute, which will be pretty cool, I bet.
Now, I can’t attend because, you know, I work two jobs, but I want anyone who reads this blog and wants to go to please leave a comment below with your full name! We’ve got 10 tickets to give away here folks, so get going! On Monday (or Tuesday), I’ll pick 10 people from the comment section to give tickets to. Want more information? Go here.