Cheap Company Dish: Creamy Cranberry Chicken Breasts
Sometimes you need something that's simple to do and inexpensive to cook but that looks and tastes fancy. Enter Creamy Cranberry Chicken Breasts. The dish is made with "on sale" boneless skinless chicken breasts that have been sliced and pounded. The slicing and pounding serves two functions. It means the chicken will serve more people and be far more tender than the giant, "lumpen" chicken breasts that come out of the grocery store packages. The chicken is sauteed quickly and then given a sauce that's tangy with chopped cranberry relish and velvety with sour cream. If you can't find cranberry relish, you can see an earlier post for a recipe or use whole berry cranberry sauce. The flavor won't be as fresh with the cranberry sauce, but the recipe will be good either way. This is an inexpensive dish worthy of a fancy restaurant menu. Serve it over noodles or rice, perhaps with some crusty bread alongside to catch any extra sauce.
Creamy Cranberry Chicken Breasts -- Serves 4-6
1 - 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2-3 tablespoons of canola oil
2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup of marsala wine
1 cup of cranberry relish (or use a can of whole berry cranberry sauce)
1 tablespoon of grainy Dijon mustard
1 cup of light sour cream
1-2 tablespoons of chopped parsley (optional)
Slice the chicken breasts into 1/2-inch thick slices and then pound them with a meat mallet between plastic wrap until you have cutlets about 1/4-inch thick. Flour the cutlets and sprinkle them with half the salt and the pepper. (You can do this on a plate or just put the cutlets in a clean plastic bag with the flour, seal the bag well, and shake until the cutlets are all floured. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When the pan and oil are hot, add some of the cutlets (don't crowd the pan). Brown the cutlets on one side for a few minutes, then flip them and brown the other side for a couple of minutes. Remove the browned cutlets to a plate and repeat the browning process with the remaining cutlets. Don't worry if the cutlets aren't cooked all the way through. They'll finish cooking later in the sauce. After removing the cutlets from the skillet, add the chicken broth and stir it to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the broth to a boil, let it cook a few minutes, and add the marsala. Turn down the heat to medium-low and stir in the cranberry relish, the Dijon, and the remaining salt. Add the chicken back to the skillet and let it cook gently for a few minutes in the sauce. Stir in the sour cream, and, if you like, sprinkle on some parsley before serving the chicken cutlets.