Showing posts with label easy chicken breast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy chicken breast. Show all posts

Friday, February 12, 2010

"My Valentine" Cranberry Chicken from Cleo Coyle

First a little announcement: if you are an apsiring writer or interested in the writing process, hop on over to Elizabeth Spann Craig's blog Mystery Writing is Murder and visit me there today. I'm guest blogging on the subject of "Genre Blending and Your Character's Love Life" (click here to visit). And now back to our regularly scheduled recipe...

Food is love. We’ve heard the saying for years. It’s especially true in our house because my husband and I often take turns cooking for each other, and we’ve both made and enjoyed the recipe I’m sharing with you today.

Valentine’s Day for us will be a cozy, simple affair—a couple of candles, Sinatra on the stereo, a fireplace DVD in the TV, and we’re good for romance. So what’s to eat? Well, dessert is all set. We’re baking a truly amazing Chocolate Kahlua Cake from a recipe you’ll be getting on Sunday from Dead Air author Mary Kennedy, so check back on Valentine’s Day for that fabulous dessert recipe. The main event, however, will be my Valentine Cranberry Chicken.

For obvious reasons, poultry with cranberry sauce is a combination that thrums heartstrings in most Americans, which is also why I’m sharing my Cranberry Chicken in time for Valentine’s Day. The red of the cranberries evokes the bright crimson of the ubiquitous Valentine heart, and the sweet and savory flavors are reminiscent of festive American holiday meals, yet this dish can be ready to eat in under an hour. It’s easy and economical and just as good when warmed up for a meal the next day (or even the day after).

Jeff Smith was my inspiration for this recipe, which is really just an adaptation of his. He used chicken parts, but I find skinless chicken breasts a much easier and better version (you won’t miss the skin, either). I’ve also made some adjustments on ingredients and measurements to suit my taste. This is one of those recipes that you can adjust to your own palate, too, especially with the seasonings. If you really enjoy a sweet-hot combo, for instance, really kick up the cayenne to a higher level. If you don’t, leave it out completely.

"My Valentine" Cranberry Chicken
from Cleo Coyle

Serves: 4 (or 2 with leftovers)


4 to 5 skinless chicken breasts (or 3 to 3-1/2 pounds chicken tenders)
1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with…
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup (approx.) canola oil (for frying)
One 14 or 16 ounce can of whole sweetened cranberry sauce (or make about 2 cups of sweetened sauce from fresh cranberries)
2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1/2 of a large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), chopped

1. Cut the chicken breasts into thirds and coat with the flour, which has been seasoned with salt, pepper, and cayenne for a little kick.
2. In a heavy, deep skillet, lightly brown the flour-dusted chicken pieces in about 1 cup of canola oil. NOTE: You are not cooking these through completely. This is a quick, light frying to cook the raw flour and give the chicken some color.
3. In a medium size saucepan, mix the remaining ingredients (cranberry sauce, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, and chopped onion). Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
4. Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for about 40-50 minutes. The dish is done when the chicken is tender. (Chicken tenders will cook a bit faster than cut up chicken breasts.)
We enjoy this served over Basmati rice. If you don’t like rice, try plating it with a side of glazed carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, and/or freshly steamed and buttered green beans, add some crusty rolls, a French baguette, or sliced Italian bread on the side to dip into that sweet, tangy, cranberry infused sauce and you're all ready to...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

And finally...

Thank you to Ingrid of The Conscious Cat. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll want to check out her site! Ingrid awarded this blog...

The Over the Top Blog Award!

The rules state that we must complete the questions with one word answers. Here we go!

Your Hair? – Caramel Latte-ish (with a latte help from Charlotte at the salon up the block!)Your Favorite Food? – Peaberry
Your Hobby? – Writing about coffee
Your Fear? – Decaf
Something You Aren’t? – A tea drinker
Where Did You Grow Up? – outside of Pittsburgh, PA
Your Life? – Caffeinated
Your Mood? – Wired
Your Favorite Color? – Coffee

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Julia and Me

Before Paula Deen and Rachel Ray, before Martha, there was Julia Child. My mom loved her show, and I was the lucky beneficiary of many delicious dishes based on Julia Child's recipes. One recipe for chicken breast stood out as my favorite. It's very simple and I still make it today, although I've simplified it a bit. I've searched through Julia's cookbooks and can't find the exact recipe, but I think she may have called it Chicken Supreme.


three chicken breasts or one package of chicken tenders
two tablespoons butter or olive oil
half a lemon
two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Julia's original recipe called for butter. Over time, with the push to eat less saturated fat, I started using olive oil instead. Until I made it both ways for this blog, I was happy with the olive oil version.
  1. (Optional) Julia's recipe began with folding waxed paper over the chicken breasts and pounding them so that they are uniform in thickness. This is a great idea and will yield more consistent results, but I'm generally too lazy and skip this step.
  2. Heat a saute pan (or similar) over medium/low heat. Add butter or olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the meat. Cover the pan. (Julia Child's version called for covering the meat with waxed paper and then putting a lid on the pan. I don't see much difference when I do that.)
  3. When the meat turns white around the edges (about three minutes for chicken tenders, five to six minutes for chicken breasts) turn the pieces over, add the parsley, cover and continue to heat.
  4. Cook just until the middle is no longer pink (about three to four minutes for tenders, about six to seven minutes for breasts, depending on the thickness).
  5. Salt to taste and plate the chicken. Drizzle the juices from the pan over the meat and serve.
Rice is a perfect match for this dish and I can't help thinking that Julie's White House Worthy Rice would be excellent with it! While it tastes delicious made with olive oil, I have to admit that it's better with butter. It's exactly the kind of dish that Sophie, the protagonist in my Domestic Diva Mysteries, would serve to her friends on short notice.