This recipe is a delightful mix of Mediterranean flavors. Substitute apple or mint jelly for the currant jelly for a subtly different sauce, or try red pepper jelly for a little heat.
• 1 cup plain bread crumbs
• 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried
• 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 egg whites
• 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup Madeira wine
• 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
• 3/4 cup red currant jelly
• 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 3/4 cup dried cherries
• Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
2. Combine the bread crumbs, half the garlic, 3 teaspoons of the rosemary, the sage, and salt and pepper.
3. Beat the egg whites. Pound the chicken pieces until they are 1/2 inch thick. Brush the pieces with the egg whites and roll in the bread crumbs. Let them stand on a rack for 10 minutes.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with the remaining garlic. On medium heat, sauté the chicken pieces for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden. Add 3/4 cup of the Madeira, reduce the heat, and simmer the chicken, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken to a heated platter and place it in a warm oven.
5. Place the mustard, jelly, vinegar, cherries, and the remaining wine and chopped rosemary in the skillet and whisk everything together. Simmer, whisking, for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer 2 to 3 minutes longer on each side. The sauce should coat the chicken evenly.
6. Serve immediately on a bed of couscous or brown rice and garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Juliette Swenson, Petersburg, VirginiaKitchen Table: March 1998.