21 June 2012

Improv Challenge: Grilled Cherry Almond Chicken


Wow, June is flying by!  I can't believe it's time for the Improv Challenge already.  The premise of this challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.



This month's assigned ingredients were cherries and almonds.  So many possibilities!  Actually, the first thing that came to my mind when I heard "cherry almond" was that Jergens lotion that was cherry almond scented.  :)  Then when I was perusing my assigned Secret Recipe Club blog back in May, I came across a recipe for Cherry Almond Chicken.  I thought about choosing it for SRC, but then I remembered that cherries and almonds were on the schedule for Improv, so I saved it for this.  I didn't actually use the recipe I saw, but it was definitely my inspiration for what I came up with.

This is really a very simple dish.  I grilled chicken breast cutlets, then brushed on a three-ingredient cherry glaze, then topped it with toasted sliced almonds.  Makes a great meal served on a bed of brown rice with a green veggie on the side (I made Grilled Ginger Garlic Brussels Sprouts; recipe coming soon.)


Grilled Cherry Almond Chicken


Ingredients:
6 chicken breast cutlets
Salt
½ cup cherry jam or preserves
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted


Directions:
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Season chicken on both sides with a sprinkle of salt.  When grill is preheated, place chicken on and grill until cooked through, flipping once.


Meanwhile, place jam or preserves, soy sauce, and ginger in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat just until jam has melted and is smooth.  If there are large chunks of cherries, place mixture into a small food processor and process just until chunks are broken up.  


When chicken is almost cooked through, brush each cutlet with cherry glaze.  Remove from grill and top with toasted almonds.


Makes 6 servings.

I bought cherry preserves instead of jam and it had whole cherries in it.  I thought that was a bit much, so I pulsed it in my mini chopper a few times.  That worked out just fine.  You probably wouldn't need to do that with jam.  The soy sauce gives the cherry glaze the perfect amount of savory-ness.  




You can easily adapt this recipe for colder weather by cooking the chicken in a pan on the stovetop instead of grilling.  That's how I made my Savory Peach Chicken, which is similar to this but made with fresh peaches instead of the cherry jam.

26 comments:

e. jean said...

I love, love, LOVE grilling with berries! This is one combo I've never experimented with before -- gonna need to change that in the near future.

Kristen Baker said...

I am really intrigued by the idea of a cherry based bbq sauce...you have my creative juices flowing!!  What a lovely dish.  I love it when improv-ers go savory with sweet ingredients!!!

Kate | Food Babbles said...

Ha! I know exactly the scent you're talking about ... I love that Jergens lotion :) I also really love this recipe! So unique. I've never thought about using cherries with chicken but now I'll have to give it a try. Love your creativity!

Reeni said...

Your cherry glaze with the soy and ginger sounds absolutely delicious! Especially grilled so it picks up some smokiness.

Terry said...

Sounds yummy! Pinning.

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Lesa...so funny because I though of the same cherry almond lotion from Jergens....we use that in our office!  Good for you for going the savory route with this challenge.  I love pairing chicken and fish with fruit and this looks fantastic!  I like your little badge for the Cooking Improv Challenge.  Does Kristen have that on her site.  I'd love to display that on my sidebar where my other club badges are.  May I borrow yours?  It's cute and I really like the colors!  : )

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

I got the picture from the Improv's Facebook page. Click on the picture, then on the bottom, click on "options", then you can download it to your computer and put it in your post or sidebar from there. Thanks for your lovely comments!

Kristin said...

I love that you went savory!
#27

Thefreshmancook said...

I love your recipe. We are big chicken eaters, so this is going in to my meal planning right away. 

Roxanne Epstein said...

What a great combination of flavors.
Mimi

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