Monday, June 8, 2009

Bobby Flay's Sixteen-Spice-Rubbed Chicken Breast with Black Pepper Vinegar Sauce

I've been meaning to add this post for a while now but just haven't gotten around to it. A few weeks before I got bronchitis (which is a whole 'nother story...) I tried this recipe on some friends. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I do not cook on a regular basis but this was one of those once-in-a-blue-moon times when I found this recipe and wanted to try it. Since I don't have a grill and my friend's husband is the grill king of all time the dinner was at their home. There was also a lovely Caesar salad (what am I saying - all Caesar salads are lovely- how can anyone screw up a Caesar salad?). However, when making said salad be sure to use a wooden bowl and wooden salad bowl utensils only and don't forget to do the lemon rub. Also, use Caesar croutons, not regular croutons, and don't use parmesan cheese - the only cheese to use is parmigiano-reggiano. Once you try parmigiano-reggiano you'll be hooked and it can be used in a variety of dishes. Desert was simple as well - fresh berries with balsamic drizzle and almond cream (recipe is below). The two people in charge of the wine selection decided to make it an all-chardonnay selection which consisted of the following - Chalk Hill, Grgich Hills, Chateau St. Jean, Hanzell Vineyards and Kendall-Jackson (and yes, all bottles had been sampled, most completely drained, by the evening's end). The only deviation from the recipe was I reduced the rub on the pieces that I would be eating as I have a sensitive tummy (and even took my Prevacid before eating). The rest of the chicken pieces got the full amount. We also used more than 4 pieces of chicken as there were more than 4 of us eating.

In any event, the chicken was ROCKING and everyone raved. This is a simple simple recipe and I think you'll find it to your liking so try it, try it, try it.

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon chile de arbol
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 (8-ounce) boneless chicken breasts, skin on
1/4 cup canola oil
Black Pepper Vinegar Sauce

Black Pepper Vinegar Sauce: 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper Combine the vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. The sauce can be made 1 day in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Heat your grill to high.

Stir together the ancho powder, pasilla powder, cumin, coriander, ginger, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, chile de arbol, 2 tablespoons salt, black pepper and cayenne in a small bowl.

Brush both sides of the breasts with the oil and season with salt. Rub the top side of each breast with a few tablespoons of the rub and place on the grill, rub side down.

Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn the breasts over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes longer.

Remove the chicken from the grill and drizzle with the black pepper vinegar sauce.

Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Fresh Berries with Balsamic Drizzle and Almond Cream

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 pound sliced or quartered strawberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
3 tablespoons lightly toasted sliced almonds

Place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to about half the original volume and vinegar has a syrupy consistency, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the mascarpone, sugar, and almond extract and whisk until very smooth and sugar has dissolved.

When ready to serve the dessert, divide the strawberries, raspberries and blackberries evenly between 4 or 6 small dessert coupes. Place a generous dollop of the cream mixture over the top of the fruit, then drizzle with a teaspoon or two of the reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with almonds and serve immediately.