Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

You’ll want to eat this sauce right from the pan—an easy weeknight chicken dinner perfect for blueberry season, or whenever blueberries are in your freezer.

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I’m a big fan of dishes that combine sweet and savory with a touch of salty or spicy, like poultry or pork with fruit. In the winter, I love using apples, pears and dried fruit, as in Pork Roast with Prunes, Rosemary and Red Wine. Now that summer’s here, I’m turning to berries.

A pork tenderloin recipe inspired this dish, but I used chicken breasts instead. I keep meaning to try this with chicken thighs too – less chance of them getting too dry. I thought the rosemary sitting out on our deck would go well with blueberries so I sprinkled a little on the chicken before it went into the pan. To give the sauce some background heat I added chipotle, one of my favorite staples, to the mix. I also added a bit of honey to deepen the sweetness and reduced the vinegar a bit. All my changes worked! It’s always a relief when that happens.

Take advantage of blueberry season (and store sales) by working them into your menu: breakfasts (smoothies, bagels with cream or ricotta cheese and blueberries, Blueberry Coffee CakeBlueberry Muffins), snacks, dinners and desserts (Blueberry Buckle). Blueberries are little nutritional powerhouses, high in Vitamin C, fiber and anti-oxidants. If you can get your hands on really fresh berries, spread them out on a sheet pan, freeze and then dump them into freezer bags to enjoy throughout the year.

chicken with chipotle blueberry sauce

Chicken with Chipotle Blueberry Sauce

You’ll need a saucepan and a skillet.

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 chipotle en adobo, minced, (if you’re not a fan of heat, use only 1/2 chipotle), or ground chipotle or cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons olive or canola oil

Add blueberries to a sauce pan with the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add vinegar, molasses, honey, chipotle and salt. Cook 25-30 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half.

Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and cook thoroughly until both sides are browned and chicken is cooked through. Cover the pan with a lid to speed it along.

Serve chicken with the blueberry sauce.

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1 year ago on Gusto: Southwestern Slaw (no mayo)

2 years ago: Zucchini Scallion Pancakes with Soy Dipping Sauce

4 years ago: Cherry Crumble

5 years ago: Sweet & Spicy Glazed Salmon

6 years ago: Corn Salad & Plum Clafouti (a twofer)

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