Pear & Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with Pear-Ginger Chutney

May 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

J:  Okay, long title, I know.  But this was a really fun dish that I came up with all by my lonesome, and I think you should try it!  It took me two tries to get the stuffing and baking process right, and even at this point it could use a few tweaks probably, but it was pretty tasty both times.  This was a chance for me to play around with a semi-new ingredient, since I haven’t worked much with pear, even though it’s one of my favorite fruits.  Heck, I haven’t even had pear, aside from once or twice at Erik’s, in years; my father doesn’t like it much and, well, you could try to eat the pears that showed up occasionally in my university dining hall, but you’d probably best fortify your stomach with a steel lining beforehand.

corn goes really well with this

You most certainly do not need any sort of steel-lining-fortification for this little number, though.  Just patience, a bit of time, and a willingness to thrust your fingers into a hunk of meat.

Pear & Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with Pear-Ginger Chutney
For the stuffing:
1 red Anjou pear, skin-on, cubed (you could use any kind of pear you want, but the red is a nice color for contrast)
2/3-3/4 c ricotta
1/2 tsp plus a pinch fresh sage, chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 split chicken breast, with each side cut in half (so you have four pieces of chicken)

For the chutney:
2 red Anjou pears, skinned and roughly chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar

Erik thinks that this looks like a still-life. he also would like me to share that he thinks still-lifes are pointless and overrated.

Let’s start with the stuffing — it’s pretty simple.  Combine all of the ingredients, minus the chicken, in a large bowl, and stir well.

stuffing!

Now we get to put the stuffing in the chicken.  Cut a slit about 1 – 1 1/2 inches long in each of the four pieces of chicken, making sure the knife goes in fairly deep.  Take a bit of the stuffing and push it into the chicken as deep as you can, and just repeat until it feels full — it should feel like you can’t get much more in.  You will have leftover stuffing, I guarantee it.

raw meat never looks that tasty, but i promise this gets good

Set that aside (in the fridge if you like, though not necessary) and we can get to work on the chutney.

Also, you should probably get your oven preheating to 400 around now.

For the chutney, just combine the pear, ginger, and brown sugar in a blender, and purée away.

almost like apple butter... mmm

It won’t be totally smooth, and that’s good.  You’ll want it to have some small chunks of pear still in it.

Get a sauté pan heating up over medium heat, and when it’s warm-to-hot, pour in the chutney, being careful not to splash.  Cook it down for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring fairly often.

chutneying

Place the chicken on an ungreased, not nonstick baking sheet, or in a casserole dish if you prefer.  Spoon a little of the chutney on top of each piece of chicken, so it’ll bake on there, and place them in the oven.  Cook for 35 minutes, or until chicken is done; then, before you take it out, turn your oven onto its “broil” setting and broil for just a couple of minutes, until the top of the chicken is blackened a bit.

takes a bit of scrubbing to get that off the baking sheet, but well worth it

Spoon some more chutney onto the chicken, and serve with veggies — I recommend sweet corn, but go with your favorite!

so much pear!

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