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Sweet & Sour Cranberry Balsamic Chicken With Portabella Mushrooms

Served over Toasted Pecan and Dried Cranberry Rice with Spiced Dried Cranberry Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Source: 
Massachusetts Cranberry Harvest Festival Recipes 1997, First Place-Best of Show; Bernadette Cicone
Servings: 
4-6

Ingredients

Sweet and Sour Cranberry Balsamic Chicken with Portabella Mushrooms

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ pounds of boneless chicken breast tenders, washed, trimmed and cut into 
2-inch chunks
6 whole scallions (including green stems) washed trimmed and chopped
3 large portabella mushroom caps
1 ½ cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen, washed
½ cup jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup water
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
 

Toasted Pecan and Dried Cranberry Rice

1 cup uncooked long grain rice or rice of your choice (should equal 2 cups cooked or 4 servings)
½ cup chopped pecans toasted
½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
*To toast pecan, place in shallow layer on baking sheet and broil until browned.
 

Spiced Dried Cranberry Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes, baked
3 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ cup evaporated milk
Pinch of ground black pepper
¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries

Method

Sweet and Sour Cranberry Balsamic Chicken with Portabella Mushrooms

With a damp paper towel, wipe off any visible dirt on top of mushrooms. Pull and twist off the stem from underneath. Cut each cap into quarters and slice the quarters 1/2 - thick/ set aside.

Whisk cranberry sauce with water until smooth. Set aside.

Place olive oil in large skillet, set at 325 degrees F, and preheat for 30 seconds. Add prepared chicken pieces, cook covered, stirring occasionally. When chicken is completely cooled, reduce skillet heat to 200 degrees F. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, leaving juices in the pan.

Increase skillet heat to 300 degrees F., add scallions, mushrooms and whole cranberries. Saute until mushrooms are soft, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, cranberry water mixture and brown sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar completely. Add cornstarch, whisking to dissolve completely. Simmer sauce, stirring constantly until thickened, about 30 seconds.
Immediately reduce heat to 200 degrees F and continue stirring.

Return chicken to the pan, stir to coat completely with the sauce, cover, and simmer on low heat for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in dried cranberries.
 

Toasted Pecan and Dried Cranberry Rice

To the cooked rice, add toasted pecans and dried cranberries, mix well to incorporate.
 

Spiced Dried Cranberry Mashed Sweet Potatoes

When warm enough to handle, peel sweet potatoes, mash, add butter and continue mashing until smooth. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Whisk in evaporated milk, add black pepper and dried cranberries.

To serve, place a mound of sweet potatoes in the center of the plate. With the back of a spoon, make a well in the center of the mound and build up the sides. Place a portion of the rice in the well. Spoon the Sweet & Sour Cranberry Balsamic Chicken mixture over the rice.

Note: This dish can be made a day in advance and heated when needed. Instead of rice and sweet potatoes, the Sweet & Sour Balsamic Chicken can be served over pasta noodles, mashed white potatoes or toast points.