Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pepper-Pear Chicken

I've launched a little food-related project in conjunction with the folks at Fooducopia, a site where small food producers sell their products. My part in this is that I'll be creating recipes specifically for products sold on the Fooducopia site. This recipe features Roasted Pepper Pear Vinaigrette from A Perfect Pear.

The vinaigrette wasn't quite what I expected - in a good way. I expected it to be salad-dressing thin, but instead it was as thick as tomato sauce - maybe thicker. Thicker than what I'd put on a salad, but that makes it even more useful. I could see adding this to a vinegar and oil salad dressing to add flavor and body, or adding it to a creamy salad dressing to add flavor and a really interesting color.

But when I tasted it, I knew it had potential to be much more than an accompaniment to lettuce. Sure, you could use it to dress some greens, but why not dress up some chicken instead?

Years ago, I was quite fond of a chicken recipe that used yogurt as a coating for skinless chicken. The yogurt was mixed with a variety of spices, and the mixture was slathered on the chicken before it was baked. The yogurt was thick enough that it clung to the chicken and kept it from drying out while the spices added flavor. That recipe inspired this dish. But instead of a lot of different spices, I used the vinaigrette to provide all the flavor. It didn't need anything else, and the color was glorious.

This dish doesn't take a lot of time to prep, and the cooking is all hands-off - perfect for a day when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It would work just as well with any cut of chicken with or without skin or bones - you'd just need to adjust the cooking time. I used chicken breast halves including bone and skin.

Pepper-Pear Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper Pear Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt

Put the vinaigrette and yogurt into a plastic bag and squish the bag to combine the two, then add the chicken. Massage the chicken coat it completely with the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate until you're ready to cook the chicken. It's best to let it marinate for a while - a least an hour, or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. You can use a rack for cooking as well, if you prefer. Place the chicken on the baking sheet. Squeeze the extra sauce out of the bag and spread it on top of the chicken.

Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, and cook at 325 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees - about 45 minutes for my chicken breasts. When the chicken reaches 155 degrees, remove it from the oven and let it rest 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. The temperature will continue rising during the rest, and the moisture will redistribute. If you cut too early, you'll lose the moisture and the chicken will be dry.

To be clear, I'm not reviewing or endorsing the products in this recipe. I've created the recipe for Fooducopia to post its site and I'm re-posting the recipe here for my readers as well. Then again, since I created the recipe, rest assured that I liked it. I don't cook stuff that we're not going to eat.

1 comment:

Cook said...

I love your projects, contests ir just for fun. GO for it! When roasting (baking) chicken parts, many of us should remember that bone-in, bone-on is better. Nuff Said!

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