Chicken with Raspberries

Raspberries. They’re not just for dessert anymore!

Berries are in season right now almost everywhere. Growing wild in backyards, at U-Pick patches, farmer’s markets, and grocery stores.

But maybe you’ve never considered pairing berries with a savory dish like chicken.

Time to change the way you think about fruit!

Here’s what you need:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Shallot, Butter, White Wine, Fresh Raspberries, Flour, Paprika, White Pepper & Salt. (Rice  – shown for a side dish.)

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This meal comes together pretty quickly so it’s a good idea to get all of your ingredients prepared before you start cooking. I like to serve this with rice to catch all the delicious sauce. If you want regular rice that takes 20 minutes to cook, start it before you being cooking the chicken.

Cut a shallot in half, remove the peel, and chop into small dice. A medium sized shallot should equal about 2 Tablespoons when finely chopped.

Shallots are members of the onion family and have a distinct but mild flavor. They are wonderful in light sauces because they almost dissolve. Unlike onions, you’re never really aware of biting into a big old piece of shallot. Look for them in the store near the onions and garlic. My store sells them in small mesh bags of 2-3 shallots.

Because my chicken breasts were huge, I decided to cut each one in half.

This also cuts down on the cooking time and helps keep the chicken from drying out and becoming tough during cooking.

To help thicken the sauce and give a little crust to the chicken, we’re going to dredge or coat each piece in flour.

Pour abut 1/2 cup of flour into a shallow dish or plate. Season the flour with 1 Tablespoon of  Sweet Hungarian Paprika and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

Stir the flour and spices all together with your immaculately clean fingers.

Season the chicken by sprinkling with a bit of salt and then dunk the pieces into the flour. Get a nice coating of flour on both sides of the chicken and then shake off the excess.

Melt 2 Tablespoons of delicious butter in a large pan over medium high heat. I’m using my trusty non-stick pan because it makes life and clean up easier.

Brown the chicken over medium high heat until golden and a little bit crusty on the outside. Then flip it over and brown the other side too.

A word of warning here — Be careful to monitor the heat of the pan. Since we are just using butter and not oil, the cooking temperature will need to be a little lower so that the butter does not burn. Brown butter is okay, tasty even, black butter – not good. If your butter burns, remove the chicken to a plate, wipe out the pan and start again with fresh butter.

When the chicken has browned on both sides, remove it to a plate. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for just a minute or two to soften.

If your pan is looking a bit dry, go ahead and add a little more butter for the shallots.

When the shallots are just beginning to soften but not brown, pour in 1 cup of dry white wine.

Scrape up any brown tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.

Grab your lovely, fresh raspberries, rinse and pat them dry, and take out 10-12 berries to set aside for a garnish.

I’m using 1/2 pint of raspberries for 2 chicken breasts. This makes 2 large servings.

Put the remaining raspberries in the wine/shallot sauce and smash them up with the back of a spoon.

It seems wrong to smash such lovely berries but it’s worth it for the sauce we’re making so smash away.

You’ll notice that some large pieces remain. No need to pulverize the berries, just give them a gentle crush with the spoon then add the chicken breasts back into the pan.

Bring the sauce up to a gentle boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes to cook the chicken.

Halfway through the 15 minutes, turn the chicken over in the sauce to coat the other side.

When you turn the chicken over, check the thickness of the sauce. If it seems a bit thin, go ahead and leave the lid off the pan for the remainder of the cooking time.

Serve the chicken on a bed of white rice and top with a few spoonfuls of raspberry sauce.

Garnish with the reserved whole berries and a little minced parsley.

I love this dish. It is simple and elegant while being quick and easy. The raspberries offer a tangy, savory, surprise flavor to the sometimes boring old chicken breast.

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken with Raspberries

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