Balsamic Pears and Chicken with Blue Cheese
Chef Ida Shen
University of California Berkeley
Pears and blue cheese go together like burgers and ketchup. This recipe takes the flavor pairing up a notch with the addition of chicken breasts and balsamic vinegar. Six basic ingredients, plus salt and pepper, make this dish a winner in a labor-challenged kitchen.
24 (5-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 tbsp. olive oil
1½ cups balsamic vinegar
24 canned pear halves in juice, drained and juice reserved
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
12 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear half of the chicken breasts until golden brown on each side. Remove seared chicken to baking sheet with sides and repeat with remaining olive oil and chicken. Place baking sheets in oven to finish cooking the chicken.
3. Meahwhile, deglaze skillet with 1 1/2 cups reserved pear juice and balsamic vinegar. Stir over medium heat until liquid is slightly reduced and syrupy; whisk in butter just until incorporated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed.
4.Add pear halves to skillet, turning once to coat with sauce on both sides. Remove pan from heat.
5. To serve, place chicken breasts on individual plates or large platter. Drizzle with sauce. Place a pear half next to each chicken breast and fill cavities with crumbled blue cheese. Crumble additional cheese over chicken breast as garnish.
Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest Canned Pears