Wednesday, May 01, 2013

What To Make For An Anniversary: Very Berry Balsamic Chicken

I had a last minute epiphany of what to make for dinner on the evening of the anniversary of the first date I had with the husband. Something deep red, somewhat sweet and lush. Like love, but without all the emotional garbage that goes along with it. Something substantial and surprisingly pleasant. So this is what I threw together, and magically it was executed well, and even rendered a compliment from my husband. Mind you, post-prandial compliments are like a rarity, so I pay special attention when they happen, as they are like orgasms for my ears (and I can't get enough of them). 

I will say that the picture makes me think of that Robert Burns poem, A Red, Red Rose*:

Preheat oven 350

The Nuts & the Bolts (Ingredients):

2 lbs chicken parts (I used thigh/leg portions, skin on, though I was considering spatchcocking an entire bird, which for us is overkill, as we're a dark meat household)
4 Beets, scrubbed clean and sliced thick (I used both, deep red and golden beets)
1 Big handful cippolini onions, sliced in half, horizontally (Alternate: red pearl onions)
1 Pint strawberries, dehulled, halved
Handful of pecans (or walnuts)

2-3 T Garlic Shallot paste (JFGI if you don't know how to make this)
1 T. Honey
1 T. Pomagranate molasses
1 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 T. Olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp Red pepper flake (I used Turkish Aleppo)
Big fat pinch of both, salt and pepper 

Note: Ideally,  marinate the chicken in the marinade overnight; however, this was done a la minute and still turned out quite good.

In a baking dish deep enough to accommodate everything, spritz pan with oil spray, then put a layer of beets and onions. Place chicken pieces in a single layer on top of beets. Scatter strawberries and pecans on top of chicken. Bake for an hour (or a little more) until the beet slices are fork tender.

*You're welcome.*
(C) 2013 SF "Maven"

*For the uninitiated, here is the poem in question:

A Red, Red Rose
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

-Robert Burns

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