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Friday, August 27, 2010

Ready, Steady, Cook Challenge: Main Course ...with far too long a title to list

Now on to the Main Course of my menu for the Ready, Steady, Cook! Challenge...this was the part of the meal that seemed to flow from my mind the easiest. I posted my starter yesterday in case you missed it...where you can also see my list of pantry and free items and the seven items that I was allowed when planning my menu.  I almost feel like a shmuck for using the chicken breast.  I can you screw up a breast?  BUT, I did.  I used the breast.  Can I get bonus points for at least contemplating using the livers?  Seriously, I almost made a paté...but in interest of using all of my ingredients somewhat wisely, I ended up choosing the breast.  I actually ended up adoring the presentation of the vibrant...just beckoning to be eaten outdoors on a patio here in the thick of summer.  I did wonder, though if it would be a bit too frou-frou for a manly man to feel like he could dig into.  Mexi put my mind at ease when, after setting his plate in front of him, he said MmMmm. That looks great!  Aw.  Then he proceeded to eat it.  With manly-like gusto.  And go back for seconds.  Nice.  Well, I do know my man and his tastes, so...  Since chile powder is on my list of pantry items, I decided to combine the smokey heat of chipotle chile powder with the natural sweetness of apricots.  I'm thinking this is one of my new favorite taste sensations! (All of the recipes on this page are set to serve three.)  I made a half recipe of apricot jam and divided it amongst this course and my dessert nail-biting uses all regulation ingredients.  Let's not even talk about those pesky green beans...

Grilled Chipotle Apricot Glazed Chicken Breast

3 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
~1/2 c. Apricot Jam started a night in advance using this recipe (apricots, sugar, juice of a lemon)
1/2 of a small Sweet Onion, grated
1 Tbs. Chipotle Chile Powder
salt & freshly ground pepper

Start the coals on a charcoal grill (or alternately preheat a gas grill or even a grill pan).  With the jam still warm from the stove, stir in the grated onion and chile powder.  Set aside.
Once the grill is hot and ready, season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.  You will probably want to spray the grates of the grill with a cooking spray or brush them with a bit of oil to prevent sticking and make for good grill marks.  Lay the chicken breasts down and let cook until nice grill marks form on bottom.  Flip over and brush the cooked side with a very heavy slathering of the spiced jam.  Continue to cook until the inside temperature reaches ~155° F. Flip once more and brush the tops with another good slathering of the spiced jam.  Watch closely, because the sugars in the jam will burn'll just take another couple minutes for the breast to reach ~160° which point you want to remove the chicken from the grill and let it sit for another 5 minutes or so, to let the temperature come up to about 165°.
Serve whole or sliced.
Grilled Chipotle-Apricot Glazed Chicken Breast
Smokey Apricot Salsa

3 Apricots, diced
~¼ ea. three different colors of Sweet Peppers, diced small
2 green Onions,chopped
juice of ½ a lemon
chipotle Chile powder
few leaves of fresh Basil, chiffonade or chopped

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl, using a big pinch of salt and a bigger pinch of chile powder, to taste.  Tastes best at room temperature.
Smokey Apricot Salsa
Lemon and Basil scented Couscous w/ Dried Apricots

¾ c. dry uncooked Couscous
1 c. water
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
6 dried Apricots, diced small
leaves from a sprig of basil, chopped
zest of ½ a lemon
salt & freshly ground pepper

 Bring the water and olive oil to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes.  Gently stir in the apricots, basil and lemon zest.  Season to taste w/ salt & pepper.  Serve hot.
Lemon and Basil scented Couscous w/ Dried Apricots
Sautéed Green Bean and Sweet Pepper Strips

big handful of fresh Green Beans, ends snapped, cut in ¼'s lengthwise
3 different colors Sweet Peppers (~ ½ pepper ea.), julienned
olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat a sauté pan over med-high heat.  Add a good drizzle of olive oil, then toss in the beans and peppers.  Sauté quickly until just tender.  Season to taste w/ salt & pepper.  Serve hot.
Sautéed Green Bean & Sweet Pepper strips
That's that!  To serve, plate everything together and viola!
My Ready, Steady, Cook! Main Course
...coming soon- DESSERT!


Other portions of my Ready, Steady, Cook! menu:
*Dessert see other contestants dishes, check this page

Would you like to comment?

  1. The salsa looks like it would be a perfect complement. I LOVE chicken livers, so you go!

  2. I'm the first one here? Oooh does that mean I win a plate of this fabulous fabulous chicken dish? Long name or not WOW! This is, well, fabulous! Love the flavors, love the sweet and savory/spicy together. And the sides are stunning. Way to go, girlichef!

  3. Geeeezzzeeee! I'm drooling and I just want to know what time dinner is! It all looks fabulous and I love the apricot with chicken and chipotle powder, it has to be delicious! Good luck!

  4. Ellerinize sağlık. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görüntüleri var.


  5. Girlichef: It's 5:30 am here... I'm still half asleep... thenI click on your blog on my dashboard and BAM!!! your dish wakes me up. HUWOW! I love the vivid colors and this dish is bursting with flavors!It's like summer in a plate.


  6. Holy smokes Heather, what an absolutely GORGEOUS dish!!!! It almost looks too good to eat, lol! I just want to sit and stare at it for a while. It's so much fun reading about your challenge. Can't wait for dessert!

  7. Everything looks delicious so far Heather.Can't wait for dessert:D

  8. Wow looks so colourful....cant wait to have those veggies...yummy yumm


  9. I adore apricots!!! This looks so, so amazing ... I want some for breakfast right now!

  10. That chicken looks amazingly succulent & flavourful!

    Good job. Can't wait to see what you come up with for dessert. Hopefully not featuring green beans though? ;-)

  11. Good pairing with the chicken! It looks fantastic! Liver pate? Hmmmmm...

  12. Loving that glaze! Excellent!

  13. Chicken looks delicious..loving the cous cous recipe with apricots..definitely book marking it!:)

  14. Vaya salsa tan estupenda que estás haciendo. Se ve deliciosa.


  15. I covet the apricot - everything. The sweet apricot with the heat... what a flavor sensation. I guess my choices are breaking into your fridge or going to the store for apircots...

  16. i think your choice (chicken) looks delicious...and perfect for a hot summer's eve....i reserve liver for cold wet nights in front of the fire!

  17. You put us to shame - what a menu! I know Mexi is a happy camper, who wouldn't be?! Can't wait to see dessert.

  18. That plate is so incredibly visually appealing...really you would give Top chef a run for it's money!

  19. main course looks very inviting the cous cous with apricot ..yummy ..awesome clicks too


  20. That's a fantastic menu you have framed with your ingredients, I think now you have made the challenge tough for others.

  21. What a dinner! I want to try everything on the plate, especially that couscous.

  22. Mmmm...I love apricots and this looks so delicious- even the green beans!

  23. I think anyone would be happy to have this plate set down in front of them Heather! Vibrant and gorgeous! No doubt here that it's absolutely as delicious as it looks.

  24. Such a bright and beautiful plate of food--it looks really fresh and delicious. Very creative too. Can't wait to see dessert. ;-)

  25. Mouthwatering and you made the jam for it which is awesome :)

  26. what a lovely meal with your few ingredients - something to add to the to do list

  27. Wow! What a beautiful and very inticing dish. This is bookmarked for a nice Sunday dinner. Love everything about it.