We just finished dinner and are so excited about this dish, I had to sit right down and share it with you! Since we’re at the end of Clementine season, I suggest going right out to your local supermarket and grabbing yourself a crateful so you won’t have to wait a year to try this amazing recipe! The delicious fruit and fresh herbs make this healthy dish light, bright, and worth the prep time! Craig got this recipe delivered to his inbox from “bon appetit,” to which we subscribe. For proper credits, see the recipe in it’s natural habitat here.
4 5-ounce chicken breast halves
4 clementines, peeled, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (I used Camparis, diced)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, seeded, minced (I used half of a large jalepeno)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh clementine juice (from about 6 clementines)
You can follow the link above to read the official cooking instructions. Here’s how I did it, with some photos I took along the way. Click on them to enlarge.
I did this first step in the morning to save a little time. Rinse the chicken breasts, pat dry and trim away the “tender” portion if present. Pound the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap (using the flat surface of a meat tenderizing mallet — not the textured ends) until they are about 1/4 inch thick. I suggest pounding 1 chicken breast at a time to insure you have enough room for the meat to spread out. Stack the breasts and slide them into a gallon-sized freezer bag. Chill.
About an hour ahead of the time I wanted to serve dinner, I prepared the salsa. This is what takes most of the prep time. Combine the clementines, tomatoes, onion, celery, basil, cilantro, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss with the fresh lime juice and 2 tbs. olive oil and set aside at room temperature. Don’t refrigerate this or your meal will get cold as you’re eating.
Squeeze the juice of 6 or 7 more clementines into a measuring cup to 1/2 cup. Since I used more oil to cook the chicken than the recipe calls for (I used a large commercial frying pan), I think I should have used more juice here. The resulting reduction looked more like oil than orange juice even though I removed half the oil from the pan before deglazing. But, the flavor was still outstanding.
Lay the chicken breasts on a platter and season with salt & pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tbs olive oil (I probably used more like 1/4 cup) on medium high heat. Add the chicken and STAND BACK! The meat will splatter the entire time you’re cooking, so if you have a splatter screen, have it at the ready! Wear an apron, too. Cook the chicken until slightly browned and cooked through. This recipe said that should be 3 minutes on each side, but I probably had the meat a little thicker than 1/4 inch and I had a very large pan, so mine took more like 6 minutes per side.
Drain the chicken on paper towels. Add the clementine juice to the skillet (remove most of the oil if there’s still a considerable amount there) and boil until reduced by half, stirring often. That took me about 3-4 minutes.
Plate the chicken, drizzle the clementine sauce over it and top with a generous amount of salsa.
We try to have a couple of carb-free dinners each week, so this was one of them. I served this with steamed green beans tossed with slivered almonds sauteed in butter for about 2 minutes. This felt like a vacation meal to us. We just smiled all the way through it. There was salsa leftover and I’m thinking about tossing it with some red and black beans and some garbanzos to make a salad for lunch tomorrow.
I promise, if you make this dish once, you will make it again and you’ll probably want to invite some guests to impress! This one is a real winner!
Your Daily Bread:
Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.