Blueberry Balsamic Chicken With Bulgur, Tomatoes, and Kale

Blueberry Balsamic Chicken With Bulgur, Tomatoes, and Kale

I know, blueberries on chicken, right? Not an everyday occurrence! My Chief Taste Tester (a.k.a. husband) is exceptionally open-minded about new foods, but even he was skeptical at first. Trust me, it’s yummy! The flavors in this dish complement each other so well, it’s almost hard to pick out the individual tastes. The result is simultaneously highly complex and elegantly simple, novel and familiar.

One of the things I love about August is the variety of local produce. I grow as much as I can in my Earthboxes and pick up the rest of what I crave at a local farm stand. The inspiration for recipes often comes from just looking around to see what’s available, then thinking about how the various ingredients might play together.

This time, I had just a handful of leftover blueberries that were rapidly approaching the end of their edibility. Out in my garden, my Braveheart Cherry Tomato plant was exuberantly producing an abundance of fruit.

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The lacinato (dinosaur) kale was a bit moth-eaten, as it usually is. Well, when I say “moth-eaten,” I mean “butterfly-eaten;” butterfly larvae, that is. These “cabbage worms” aren’t actually worms, they’re the larvae (caterpillars) of the Small White Cabbage Butterfly, Pieris rapae. I don’t mind a little critter damage, as long as they leave enough for me. I’d rather share a bit than use a lot of chemicals. I’m no purist, I’ll spray ‘em if they refuse to share, but I’d rather not. Since I just have the two kale plants, it was a simple matter to pluck the caterpillars and toss them over the hill for some other critter to dine on. Feeling a little grossed out? Don’t be. Plants inevitably attract critters of one form or another. Even that pretty stuff you buy at the grocery store did; somebody else just plucked them off so you didn’t have to. Either that, or doused your food in chemicals. It’s no biggie, just wash stuff before you eat it!

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In the kitchen, I had some flavored balsamic vinegars I hadn’t played with in a while, and a recipe I tried last year that needed tweaking. I know most people don’t have blueberry balsamic vinegar in the pantry. That’s not a problem! You can easily substitute regular balsamic vinegar. For a little extra flavor, toss a small handful of blueberries in the pan when you add the bulgur.

Ingredients:

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1 small onion (about 4 oz/113 g)

12 large cherry or salad tomatoes (about 8 oz/230 g)

¼ pound (113g) lacinato kale

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 lime

1 teaspoon green peppercorns

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 to 5 chicken thighs, about one pound (454 g)

1 cup fat-free, unsalted chicken broth

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ cup bulgur

2 teaspoons blueberry balsamic vinegar

2 oz/62 g blueberries

Preparation:

1.) Start by prepping the vegetables. Chop the onion; set aside.

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Slice the tomatoes about ¼” (½ cm) thick. Remove the tough spines from the kale and chop the leaves. Set aside separately from the onion. Mince the garlic and thyme leaves; set aside.

 

2.) Grate the zest from the lime for about 1½ teaspoons, then squeeze its juice for about 2 tablespoons. Set aside.

lime zest fine

3.) Crush the peppercorns with mortar and pestle. Sprinkle the salt and about half the crushed pepper over both sides of the chicken.

 

4.) Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides without cooking through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

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5.) Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onions. Stirring occasionally, cook until the onions soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and thyme; cook another 30 seconds.

 

6.) Pour in the broth, scraping up all the yummy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the coriander, ginger, and remaining pepper.

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7.) Sprinkle in the bulgur, distributing it evenly. Return the chicken to the pan without stirring, cover, and cook 10 min or until done.

 

8.) Add the kale, tomatoes, lime juice, 1 teaspoon of the zest; cover. Cook until the tomatoes are heated through, and the kale is wilted.

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9.) Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with remaining zest and the blueberries to serve.

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Blueberry Balsamic Chicken With Bulgur, Tomatoes, and Kale

Ingredients

1 small onion (about 4 oz/113 g)

12 large cherry or salad tomatoes (about 8 oz/230 g)

¼ pound (113g) lacinato kale

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 lime

1 teaspoon green peppercorns

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 to 5 chicken thighs, about one pound (454 g)

1 cup fat-free, unsalted chicken broth

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ cup bulgur

2 teaspoons blueberry balsamic vinegar

2 oz/62 g blueberries

Directions

1.) Start by prepping the vegetables. Chop the onion; set aside.

Slice the tomatoes about ¼” (½ cm) thick. Remove the tough spines from the kale and chop the leaves. Set aside separately from the onion. Mince the garlic and thyme leaves; set aside.

2.) Grate the zest from the lime for about 1½ teaspoons, then squeeze its juice for about 2 tablespoons. Set aside.

3.) Crush the peppercorns with mortar and pestle. Sprinkle the salt and about half the crushed pepper over both sides of the chicken.

4.) Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides without cooking through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

5.) Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onions. Stirring occasionally, cook until the onions soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and thyme; cook another 30 seconds.

6.) Pour in the broth, scraping up all the yummy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the coriander, ginger, and remaining pepper.

7.) Sprinkle in the bulgur, distributing it evenly. Return the chicken to the pan without stirring, cover, and cook 10 min or until done.

8.) Add the kale, tomatoes, lime juice, 1 teaspoon of the zest; cover. Cook until the tomatoes are heated through, and the kale is wilted.

9.) Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with remaining zest and the blueberries to serve.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow – the colors just pop. So many great flavors and textures all dancing around together. Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Thank you! That’s kind of what it feels like in your mouth — a flavor dance party!

      Like

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