PORT BLACKBERRY SAUCE ON SEARED CHICKEN

Here's a romantic dinner idea for two... Seared chicken with a beautifully reduced port and blackberry sauce. Now try saying that to someone special in your life. I can only imagine what the response would be. This chicken dish is absolutely stunning on a plate and when the chicken is perfectly cooked there is really nothing better. Serve this dish with some extra fresh blackberries that you have leftover. You will definitely have your sweetie whistling a happy tune after this meal. Enjoy!

Adapted from the "Beef Tenderloin with Blackberry Port Wine Sauce" recipe in the post-gazette.com website (in the Lifestyles section). Posted by: Suzanne Martinson on August 4, 2002.

Serves 4 (in case you both want seconds)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (1/4 cup fresh berries when serving)
  • 2 cup port wine
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cornstarch + water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
1. In a saucepan, cook the shallots, berries, port and sugar. Boil and reduce the sauce by half. Strain the sauce into a bowl and set it aside for now. This should take about 15-20 minutes.

2. Pour the chicken stock into the saucepan and on medium high heat, reduce the stock by half. Whisk the port-berry sauce into the reduced chicken stock and let it come up to temperature. Make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch with water in a small bowl. Pour the slurry into the simmering sauce and add in the butter as well. Keep stirring the sauce together until it becomes nice and thick. Taste the sauce, then season if necessary. Set it aside until the chicken is ready.

3. Chicken preparation: Take the chicken breasts, season both sides with salt, pepper and dried basil, then heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium high. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Let the chicken steam until it has cooked through completely. This should take several minutes. While the chicken is cooking re-heat the port-berry sauce. When the chicken is done serve them both immediately. Serve along side some fresh blackberries and crispy potato wedges.

Cook's note: You can substitute the chicken and use beef tenderloin or even duck breasts instead. The sauce pairs perfectly with all of these meats.

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