Saturday, March 26, 2011

0 Gluten Free Orange Blackberry Chicken with Mixed Rice

This past weekend I went wine tasting around the Charlottesville area. One of the wineries I went to was Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery. Hill Top is one of my favorite wineries in Virginia because of their atmosphere (a true family owned winery that makes you feel like a member of the family), interesting range of flavors, and spectacular mead. All of their wines and meads are "True to the Fruit", which to me means that each of their wines and meads capture the flavor and essence of a particular berry. They also bottle several varieties of mead, and each sip of their mead is like a taste of heaven. Seriously.
When I last tasted at Hill Top, they described how each wine or mead could be paired with a meal, or how you could cook with them. One that stuck out to me was the Blackberry Delight Wine, which pairs wonderfully with chocolate. They described one recipe, which involved substituting water in brownie mix with the wine. This inspired me to come up with a meal centered around this wine that consisted of a savory dish and a dessert dish. 

The blackberry wine has a distinct sweetness to it, combined with the tartness that you would expect from eating a blackberry. I thought this would pair wonderfully with the acidity and sweetness of oranges, and decided to use chicken because I love the combination of citrus and chicken. The result is a sweet yet tangy chicken with a little bit of a kick from the ginger. I hope you enjoy!

Servings: Dinner for two
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, butterflied
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Juice of 2 cara cara oranges (~1/3 cup orange juice)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp Hill Top Blackberry Delight Wine (substitute with another Blackberry Wine...if you have to...)
  • salt and pepper
  • Reese Brown and Wild Rice

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Place the chicken onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for approximately 20 minutes.
2. While the oven is preheating and the the chicken is cooking, boil the recommended amount of water for the rice, and add a tablespoon of butter. Once boiling, add rice, cover, and simmer at medium heat for the recommended amount of time on the rice container.
Cara Cara Oranges are pink like grapefruit, and milder than traditional navel oranges.
3. In a small bowl, stir the juices, ginger, and wine.
4. Preheat a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the butter and garlic, and sautee for a minute to two. Pour the juice mix into the pan and stir occasionally. Reduce the juice into a sauce, which will take about  10 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.You want a color that is darker than it was originally (due to caramelized sugary goodness), but a texture that is still liquid and not thick like a syrup. Easiest way to remember is that a sauce is liquidy, while glaze (such as teriyaki or barbeque) is thick and sticky. 

5. After the chicken has been cooking for about 20 minutes, drizzle some of the sauce onto the chicken, and bake for another 5-10 minutes depending on thickness until there is no more pink in the chicken. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
6. Once all components are done, fluff the rice onto a plate. Slice the chicken and fan on top of the rice. Then drizzle the orange blackberry sauce on top of the chicken and rice. Serve with the blackberry wine, chilled. 

I hope you enjoy this meal, and I fully recommend anyone living in the Virginia area to go try the wines at Hill Top Winery, you'll really enjoy the experience. For those outside of Virginia, call the winery and see if they deliver to where you live. 

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