Monday, December 31, 2007

Cherry Cranberry Chicken

Ever cook so much of one thing that you get into a rut?
I needed a new twist on chicken, at least from what I usually fix. I threw this together tonight from what I had, and it tasted great :)

I took some chicken pieces (with skin on) and stuffed them with a few fresh cranberries. Then I browned them in a little oil in a skillet for a few minutes, turning once. I transferred them at that point to a long shallow open casserole dish, skin side up, and mixed together some brown sugar and enough soy sauce to make it liquid...sprinkled some more fresh cranberries over the top of the chicken pieces, and some dried cherries. Then I spooned the brown sugar/soy sauce mix over them as well. Baked at 400 degrees uncovered, occasionally spooning the pan juices over the tops of the chicken pieces. It's done when breasts are fully cooked (slice to check) and skin is crispy. It has a crispy skin, juicy and tender flesh, and the saltiness of the sauce is a nice complement to the sweet tartness of the berries. Fruit trees will be a must when we get our land. I want to have some dried fruits handy. They really add a lot to a meal...the cherries and cranberries were delicious!

It was great with a fresh, dark green salad. The salad is easy -- salad greens (I used torn romaine, watercress, and spinach) with sliced veggies (I had carrots on hand, and thin-sliced some onions). The addition of some hearts of palm, sliced, makes my husband really happy, and of course sprinkling in some chunks of feta (to him, feta + greens = Greek salad). The "croutons" are some french bread I had on hand that, after a couple days, had grown hard as a rock. I sliced a few slices, toasted them in a skillet with a little drop of oil and a pat of butter and some garlic. Dicing them is optional, but they make a great crunch factor in a hurry for salad :)

Here's hoping everyone who celebrates this time as their new year has a great and safe celebration!

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