Mahogany Glazed Chicken
I have a tendency to go through my printed recipe folder, pull out things I want to try, stick them on the refrigerator, and completely forget about them. Our refrigerator is pretty much covered in random stuff that none of us ever looks at, so I suppose it’s easy to see how recipes could be so easily forgotten. And every now and then one of us will go on a kitchen cleaning spree, and my tacked up recipes will be taken down and put on the counter, which is a nice reminder to cook them (and also not to clutter up our common areas with my random stuff).
This one had been stuck to the refrigerator for I don’t even know how many months before it was brought to my attention again, and I finally decided to make it. I originally saw something similar on one of those random cooking competition shows on the Food Network. I think it was a chicken competition, or something equally boring, but the winning recipe, Mahogany Broiled Chicken with Smoky Lime Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro Chimichurri, was very intriguing. Of course, true to form, I didn’t end up cooking the winning version but rather this Eating Well version, which is completely different, so, um, yeah, that’s pretty much how things operate around here.
Despite not being the same recipe as that I saw years ago on the Food Network, this Eating Well version deserves some kind of a prize, too, I think, because it’s easy, unique, visually appealing, and hey, pretty healthy to boot. Just the kind of meal I’ve been looking for lately.
The sauce (which could also be used as a marinade, I suspect) is an intriguing combination of black tea, pineapple juice, soy sauce, honey, and rice wine, and while it didn’t thicken the way I expected it to, the flavor combination is excellent: sweet and salty, with just a touch of bitterness from the black tea (I used Earl Gray). I added spinach to the red peppers in the recipe, and served it over rice, though mashed sweet potatoes would probably add a little something special (not to mention more color, which is supposedly a good thing in the health area).
Not too many pictures, sadly, because we were running late and had to eat fast. Seems like a shame for such a pretty dinner.
- 1/2 c. rice wine (or cooking sherry)
- 1/4 c. strongly brewed black tea (Earl Gray is perfect)
- 1/4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice (of which I now have an enormous tin, because that was the only size they had a the market)
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. honey
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (I used two because they were HUGE)
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 2 – 3 c. chopped fresh spinach
- 2 cloves of garlic (original recipe called for scallions and 1 clove of garlic, but I had no scallions)
Combine the rice wine, tea, juice, soy sauce, and honey, and set aside.
Combine the cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and salt, and rub evenly into both sides of the chicken breasts.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, turn the heat down a little, and let the chicken cook for about 4 or 5 minutes on each side (or a bit more, depending on the size). Don’t move the chicken around while it cooks; you want it to get a nice golden crust. It will be ready to flip over when it easily releases from the pan. Flip and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes on the other side, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add a touch more oil to the pan, and then add the bell pepper and the garlic. Saute for about thirty seconds, then add the reserved rice wine-tea mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up any chicken bits from the bottom of the pan (they are tasty and very important and full of antioxidants, I’m sure). Cook the sauce at a boil until it’s thickened by half, probably for about five minutes or so. Add the spinach and cook until it’s just wilted, then add the chicken back to the pan and cook for another minute or two, spooning the sauce over the chicken to give it a slight glaze.
Remove the chicken, cut into slices, and serve with the peppers and spinach over rice or potatoes, with some of the sauce drizzled over it all. A definite winner in my book. Now I will have to cook the other Mahogany chicken to see how they compare. I also have to find a way to use up the rest of the pineapple juice I bought. Any suggestions?