Monday, December 21, 2009

Almond Chicken with Cranberry-Balsamic Sauce

This meal was requested by my oldest daughter. She wanted something with cranberry sauce and chicken, so I obliged with this meal. Although I don't typically bread chicken, I wanted to include more almond than the sprinkling I placed across the top. Plus, a little crunch never hurt anyone!

Almond Chicken with Cranberry-Balsamic Sauce

1 c rice of choice (I used jasmine rice)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 c panko
1/3 c unblanched almonds, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp each salt and fresh cracked pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbs light olive oil or peanut oil
2 chopped shallots
1/2 c dry red wine or vegetable broth
1/2 can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 tbs minced fresh rosemary
1 package (9 ounces) fresh baby spinach
2 tbs sliced almonds

Prepare rice according to package directions with 1 sprig rosemary added whole during cooking time.

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, almonds, salt and pepper. Add chicken, one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook chicken in 1 tbs oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

In the same pan, cook shallots in remaining oil until tender. Stir in the wine or broth, cranberry sauce, vinegar, and minced rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5-6 minutes or until thickened.

Meanwhile, steam spinach 5-8 minutes or until spinach is wilted; salt/pepper to taste. Remove rosemary from prepared rice. Serve chicken over bed of spinach and rice; top with sauce and sliced almonds. Serves 4.

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