Monday, January 24, 2011

A little POM to wake up the winter palate is a WONDERFUL thing.

I miss summer produce.  I am definitely still getting my fill of winter veggies, but mannnn do I miss summer fruits and all their bright flavors.  Regardless of where in the world you are, you can get a dose of bright fruity flavor by getting yourself some POM juice.  Great in reductions and salad dressings that need a wake up.

So, I turned to this recipe, Rachael Ray's initially, reworked below by me, to brighten things up a bit and work some tart and sweet in to shake up my winter meal blues. 

Chicken with Pom Reduction, Potato Hash and Mediterranean Salad

4 chicken breasts
pinch of kosher salt
black pepper

Pomegranate Reduction
8oz POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 tbls balsamic vinegar
8 peppercorns
5 cloves
1 bayleaf or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme

Arugula, Fig and Gorgonzola Salad
1/2 pint of figs, such as Trader Joe's black mission figs
3 - 4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 cups of arugula
juice of 1 fresh lemon (I used a meyer lemon and it was perfect! 1 and a half lemons  if yours are small)
black pepper (fresh roughly ground peppercorns will be best here)
2 tbls EVOO

Potato Hash
1/4 lb turkey bacon
3-4 potatoes, sliced thinly and chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced and chopped

Add POM juice to a small saucepan with vinegar, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaf/thyme.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to a low simmer and reduce the liquid by
half, about 6 minutes. Keep this on low while you complete the rest of the meal, whisking occasionally to keep the mixture together.
Meanwhile, cover the chicken with plastic wrap on meat-safe cutting board and exorcise those demons, pounding chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with some EVOO, for the chicken.

Heat a second medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of EVOO.

Add the turkey bacon to the smaller skillet with the potatoes and shallots in thin layer and season with a little salt, black pepper and thyme, to taste. Cook, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are easily speared with a fork.

Once the hash begins to crisp, add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes, turning once.

Strain the reduced pomegranate sauce into the skillet with the chicken and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan, then turn off the heat. Press the herb mixture from the pomegranate sauce into the strainer to really release all the liquid.  Allow the chicken to rest in the pomegranate sauce while you prepare the salad.

Halve or quarter figs, adding them to a large bowl with crumbled gorgonzola. Add the arugula  and drizzle with the lemon juice and about 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Season with roughly ground peppercorns and a tiny pinch of kosher salt, to taste.

Serves 4.

Per serving: 391 calories; 8g of fat; 4g of saturated fat; 39mg cholesterol; 591mg sodium; 68g carbohydrates; 10g dietary fiber; 34g sugar; 15g protein

...and 58% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C!  Suck it, winter colds.

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