Chicken Breasts with Blueberry-Balsamic Reduction and Scalloped Potatoes

Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

4 chicken breasts, baked, roasted, or grilled

Scalloped potatoes make a nice side dish for grilled chicken topped with a well-balanced blueberry-balsamic reduction sauce. According to experts, blueberries contain more antioxidants than red wine and green tea combined. The semi-transparent flesh of a blueberry contains tiny edible seeds.

Blueberry-Balsamic Reduction

2 cups blueberries

2/3 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons sugar

cup orange juice

cup blackberry brandy

2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 (2-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled

1 shallot, peeled

2 to 3 pieces star anise (use 2 pieces if anise pieces are large, 3, if small)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Set aside cup blueberries. Place remaining blueberries, wine, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until berries are soft and broken, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat, and push berries (with liquid) through a strainer, reserving juices; discard pulp that remains in strainer. Return berry liquid to saucepan, adding the orange juice, brandy, vinegar, honey, ginger, shallot, anise, and butter. Stirring occasionally, simmer sauce until sauce thickens and is reduced by about one half. (Be patient, it may take up to 30 minutes, or more, for sauce to thicken and reduce.) Before serving, remove ginger, shallot and anise pieces and stir in reserved blueberries and minced parsley. Makes enough sauce to garnish 4 large chicken breasts.

Scalloped Potatoes

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart casserole. Melt butter in a medium size saucepan, over medium heat. Stir in flour, stirring constantly until bubbly. Slowly add milk and stir briskly until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Place half the potatoes in the prepared casserole. Cover with half of the sauce. Repeat with second layer of potatoes and top with remaining sauce. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover, Increase oven temperature to 400 degree and bake for about 20 minutes more, or until top is nicely browned. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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