I know that grilled chicken is an excellent, lean protein choice but it can be boring, especially when it's on the menu a couple of times a week. When I was thinking about how I could prepare it tonight, I looked around my kitchen and saw a beautiful, ripe pear sitting in my fruit bowl and remembered how the sweet and savory combination of fruit with meat can be so satisfying. Pears and apples are abundant in stores right now and they are at their peak. I especially like a Bartlett pear for this recipe because it cooks and softens quickly, but if you prefer a crisper fruit, try Bosc or Red Pear. The mixture of nutmeg, apple juice with the broth reduces into a nice, light glaze. This quick recipe takes only about 15 minutes to prepare and makes a beautiful and delicious autumn meal.
Glazed Chicken with Pear
(Makes 2 servings)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large, ripe Bartlett pear (cored, peeled and sliced)
¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup apple juice or cider
Dash of nutmeg
½ teaspoon cornstarch (omit for gluten free recipe)
1. Butterfly or pound chicken breasts until about ½" thick. Season both sides with a dusting of poultry seasoning, lemon pepper and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the chicken broth, apple juice and nutmeg. Measure the cornstarch in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Stir cornstarch until dissolved; set aside.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and add chicken breasts. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turn and continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. Add pear slices to the pan and cook for 1 minute, turn each slice and continue cooking for another minute. Add the broth-juice mixture and simmer until liquid has been reduced by half and pear slices are soft. Return chicken breasts to pan to reheat. Add cornstarch mixture and stir liquid until thickened slightly. Turn chicken to coat with glaze.
4. Divide chicken and pear slices equally between two serving plates and serve immediately.
Nutritional Information per serving: 320.5 calories, 24.7 g carbohydrate, 6.3 g total fat, 1.2 g saturated fat, 312.5 mg sodium, 3.3 g fiber, 40.1 g protein.
Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010