By Kay Steiger
Sometimes finding the right recipe is a little bit like matchmaking. You have superficial needs, like the things you have in your cabinet that you want to use for your recipe and you also have deeper needs, like deciding if you’re in the mood for something sweet of savory. Most of all, you’re ready for dinner now.
Tonight I came home from the gym exhausted and not really interested in an elaborate meal. I had some skinless chicken breasts and pears I wanted to use. I tend to be into the depth of flavor you find in cream sauces, but they’re none too good for the waistline. By sheer luck I googled this recipe from What’s Cooking America, it has the same depth of flavor without all of the heavy butter and cream. And most exciting for me when I come home at the end of the day, it only uses one pan. (Easy clean up!) Oh, and the best part is it is delicious. Full recipe below the jump.
Balsamic Chicken with Pears
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot or green onion, chopped
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Pat chicken dry with paper towels (for more about chicken safety standards, check out Ezra’s post about StillTasty.com). Season on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute, turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a platter, tent with tin foil, and keep warm.
Using the same pan, brown shallots over medium-high heat for 2 minutes; decrease heat to medium and add the pears. Continue sautéing, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes, until the pears are soft and golden brown.
To prepare the sauce, combine chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over the pear mixture; add the cranberries. Increase heat to high and simmer, stirring frequently for 6 to 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan. Bring the mixture back to a simmer; decrease heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until meat is proper internal temperature. Remove chicken from heat. Serve, spooning the sauce and fruit over and around the chicken. Makes two servings.