Friday, January 16, 2009

Grilled Chicken Breast with Pineapple Chutney (Healthy!)

The winter months are tough for many people. It's January, and that means the days are short and the thermostat is hitting single digits. I've always said I'm like a bear: I do well in the summer, but as soon as winter hits I want to eat more and sleep more, and don't try and wake me because I'll be cranky! I mentioned earlier that one of my goals this year was to keep away those winter trials and tribulations. I can attribute my success this year to getting regular exercise, letting go of unnecessary stress, and eating well. This is a great recipe to add to your Winter Survival Kit.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Pineapple Chutney

When the weather outside is frightful, and all you can think about is what you ate over the holidays, it's time to take your brain (and your stomach) south of the equator. The flavors are fresh and zesty, the colors are vibrant, it's like Carnival on a plate! The best part? This is one healthy dish!

Grilled Chicken
5 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 Cloves Garlic
1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Cup Lime Juice
1 1/2 Cups White Wine

1) In a food processor: Zap garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc).

2) With the flat side of a meat tenderizer, beat the chicken breasts so they thin a little. No need to go overboard, they just need a few good whacks.

3) Twenty minutes before you're ready to cook the chicken, put breasts and marinade in a plastic ziploc bag to marinate. It's important not to keep the chicken in there too long, the acids in the wine and lime juice will actually start to cook the chicken a little, so keep your timing in mind.

*For this recipe, you could begin marinating the chicken when you begin simmering the chutney.

4) When you're ready to cook, grill the chicken over medium heat. Cooking them slowly over a low heat makes for juicy, tender chicken. Grill them for about 5-7 minutes on each side, until cooked all the way through.

5) Top with Pineapple Chutney!

Pineapple Chutney
(I got my original recipe for pineapple chutney years ago, and honestly cannot remember the source. I've changed a few things around and made it my own, but have to say the original mastermind of this one was somebody else.)

2 tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tblsp. Cumin Seeds
1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
2 tblsp. fresh ginger, diced
1 Yellow Onion, diced
4 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
3/4 cup Tequila
1 Pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup Lime Juice
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1) In a saucepan, over medium heat, add olive oil, cumin, and mustard seeds to the pan.

2) Saute the seeds until begin to brown. Put a lid on for a few minutes, because the mustard seeds pop and fly.

3) After the mustard seeds calm down, add ginger, onion, and jalapenos. Saute until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

4) Add the tequila to the pot, let it simmer until the alcohol cooks off. The tequila will almost completely evaporate.

5) Next, add the pineapple, lime juice, and sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

6) Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. The chutney will start to thicken and the flavors will blend together.

7) Remove from heat and add cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.


A Good Point

Caroline wrote, "My first thought family is going to love this chicken but...not with jalapenos and tequila."

Tequila and jalapenos are not for everyone, they are definitely the ingredients that give this recipe an extra kick! However, if they're not your cup of tea you can use 1/2 a bell pepper instead of jalapenos. You can also leave the tequila out!

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