December 3, 2015

The third time is the charm! (Sauteed Chicken Thighs with Pan Sauce and Pear, Cilantro, and Bell Pepper Salsa aka "hurt hand chicken" with balsamic potatoes)

About two and a half years ago I had just moved back to New Orleans and was so excited to get my first Hollygrove Market box in, well, two and a half years. It contained pears, cilantro and jalapeno. I went on a google rabbit hole and came up with this interesting recipe. I made it immediately. I cut my finger pretty bad while making it but wrapped it up and went on cooking it. It was so delicious, but a few hours later I removed my bandage and realized I was still bleeding like a banshee. I had to call my sweet surgeon friend, M'liss and she came over and put in stitches.

The first time I made this in 2013. At least we know my photography skills have gotten better?
This recipe later went on to be called "Hurt Hand Chicken" I made it another time last year and sure enough cut my hand again. Luckily this time the third time was the charm and I made the whole thing without injuring myself!


Usually you serve this over lettuce so it has almost a salad like feel and that was my original intention. Then I decided to start the stomach stretching process for Thanksgiving and made balsamic roasted potatoes for the side. I deviated from my regular recipe for them and they came out kind of weird so I will give you the real recipe below. 

Don't let the odd ingredient combo freak you out, this is a wonderful blend of flavors! The original recipe calls for pear nectar. I can never find that. I've used peach nectar before and that makes it a little too sweet. I saw guanabana nectar this time and grabbed it. It is pretty close to what I think pear would taste like. I had fresh guanabana juice at Mi Pueblito in Kenner, which is delicious and owned by my cousin's mother's family. If you are a local reader (New Orleans area) you must try it! Since I had it there I knew what to expect and it was the perfect compliment.

I had a ton of salsa leftover since this was not made for the intended amount of eaters.  I brought that to Thanksgiving with some Tostitos scoops and it was gone in a matter of seconds.  So it may be my new "World Famous Salsa" I bring to parties!  Please enjoy the photo montage and the recipe will follow.

I did not use the salad mix and only used one lemon.
Hmm this looks like it needs something...
Never trust a recipe without garlic.  Or a big butt and a smile.
Unless it's me, I'm pretty trustworthy.
Ah much better.  The pear is not in here yet as I assembled this part in advance and the pear is what always gets my finger.
The afterthought potatoes. You can tell by my poor picture skills.
Cut them in half or in thirds, depending on their size.
Soak them in a plastic bag for a spell for some marination.  Yes I made that word up.
The little devils get their time.  I will not slice my finger I will not slice my finger I will not slice my finger.
Still in tact!
Look, no blood!
Flour up the chicken
And saute them in butter.  How can this not taste good?
Get a nice little crust on there.  
Make your pan sauce,  I love love love a pan sauce.
After reduction, you have this loveliness.
And plate.  Chicken, pan sauce, salsa on top and potatoes on the side.
Delicious and feels a bit nutritious.
Sauteed Chicken with pear salsa (borrowed from Epicurious via Bon Appetit)

Salsa:
2 firm but ripe Anjou or Bosc pears peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup finely diced seeded red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapenos (1-2)
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)

Chicken:
3-4 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup guanabana nectar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

For salsa:
Mix all ingredients except cilantro in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Stir in cilantro.

For chicken:
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in wide shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add  chicken to skillet and cook until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Tent chicken with foil to keep warm. Add broth to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Stir in pear nectar, mustard, rest of butter and lemon juice. Boil until thick enough to coat spoon, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place 1 chicken piece on each plate. Spoon sauce over. Top with salsa.

Balsamic Roasted Baby Red Potatoes:

1 small bag baby red potatoes cut in half
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon of Italian seasoning
teaspoon of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375.  Add all ingredients to a seal-able plastic bag and mix around.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Dump contents onto a sprayed or foiled and oiled baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway.

Happy Cooking!

Missy

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